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'Mission' Tops $100 Million Despite Slide

Box office: The Tom Cruise film remains No. 1 as its ticket sales drop about 50% from the previous weekend, early estimates show.

June 03, 1996|JUDY BRENNAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

For "Mission: Impossible," the weekend brought some good news and some bad news.

The good news: It broke the $100-million box-office barrier Saturday after being in theaters for 11 days and one sneak preview night; by the weekend's close it had taken in an estimated $108 million. That was a slightly faster pace than the other current blockbuster film, "Twister," which took 12 days to top $100 million. (Universal's "Jurassic Park" is the record-holder, having topped $100 million in nine days in 1993.)

The bad news: "Mission's" ticket sales dropped about 50% from the previous weekend, according to early estimates, bringing in about $22.5 million compared to $45.4 million over the same three days of the Memorial Day holiday period.

"It's true we dropped about 50%, but we were coming off an unbelievably high level," said Barry London, head of Paramount distribution.

"Twister," meanwhile, had a slide of its own. The Warner Bros./Universal film, in second place at the box office, was down 44% from the prior holiday weekend, bringing in $16.7 million for a total of about $168.5 million in four weeks of release.

Barry Reardon, head of Warner Bros. distribution, noted that "Twister" is following the same pattern as the studio's 1989 hit "Batman," with each film taking 21 days to ascend to the $152-million level.

One film that fared better over the weekend than some in the industry had expected was Universal's "Dragonheart," which debuted in third place with an estimated $15 million.

But Universal's other summer film, "Flipper," dove to seventh place in its third week, bringing in $1.7 million--down 57% from the prior week.

Another movie that opened over the weekend was Buena Vista/Hollywood Pictures' "Eddie," starring Whoopi Goldberg as a rabid basketball fan who gets to coach the New York Knicks. It was coming in fourth with about $8 million.

Grabbing fifth place was another opener, Orion's "The Arrival," taking in about $4.6 million.

Buena Vista's spy spoof "Spy Hard" fell to sixth place in its second week, grossing about $4.3 million.

In eighth was "The Truth About Cats & Dogs" with $1.1 million. The ninth and tenth spots were a tie with "The Craft" and "Toy Story" each bringing in about $1 million.

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