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Weekend Box Office

No. 1 'Star Wars' Takes the Holiday

February 19, 1997|SUSAN KING

The "Special Edition" of "Star Wars" remained the box-office champion for the third straight week with a four-day holiday take of $21.4 million. This past Thursday, the 1977 sci-fi classic sped past "E.T." to become the top domestic grosser ever with a two-decade total of $421.4 million. "Star Wars" has made $98.6 million in its first 17 days of re-release. This Friday, Fox rolls out the 1980 sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back."

Clint Eastwood's latest flick, "Absolute Power," placed second in its opening weekend with a very respectable $16.8 million. The fourth installment in the Chevy Chase comedy series, "Vegas Vacation," brought in $12.8 million.

Oscar nominations also bolstered the box office of several films, including "Jerry Maguire," "The English Patient" and "Shine." The latter entered the Top 10 for the first time in its 13 weeks of release with a four-day total of $3.5 million.

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Weekend Gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1. "Star Wars: Special Edition" $21.4 2,104 3 (Fox) $421.4 $10,157 2. "Absolute Power" $16.8 2,568 1 (Sony/Columbia) $16.8 $6,530 3. "Dante's Peak" $13.7 2,727 2 (Universal) $36.3 $5,010 4. "Vegas Vacation" $12.8 2,054 1 (Warner Bros.) $12.8 $6,250 5. "Fools Rush In" $9.7 1,674 1 (Sony/Columbia) $9.7 $5,803 6. "That Darn Cat" $6.4 1,891 1 (Buena Vista/Disney) $6.4 $3,397 7. "Jerry Maguire" $5.2 1,730 10 (Sony/TriStar) $127.7 $3,009 8. "The English Patient" $4.6 1,115 14 (Miramax) $47.7 $4,112 9 "Shine" $3.5 851 13 (Fine Line) $20.0 $4,131 10. "Scream" $3.3 1,431 9 (Miramax) $79.1 $2,279 * "Sling Blade" $559,532 63 12 (Miramax) $1.1 $8,881

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Billy Bob Thornton's "Sling Blade," which received nominations for best actor and adapted screenplay, expanded from 16 to 63 screens, taking in $559,532 for a cumulative gross of $1.1 million.

SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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