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Box Office Takes 'Big Hit'; 'Titanic' Is Billionaire

Movies: Action-comedy debuts at No. 1 with an estimated $11 million as the Academy Award-winner sails past $1 billion in international earnings.

April 27, 1998|TOM HARRIGAN | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Crime paid more than love as "The Big Hit" seized the top box-office slot in the U.S. and Canada in its opening weekend, while "Titanic" moved up a notch and became the first film ever to gross more than $1 billion internationally.

"The Big Hit," an action-comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips and Antonio Sabato Jr. with China Chow as their kidnap victim, earned an estimated $11 million, surpassing the supernatural romance "City of Angels," which led for its first two weekends.

"City of Angels," starring Nicolas Cage as an angel who has to choose between immortality and life as a human with heart surgeon Meg Ryan as his love interest, came in second with $9 million.

"Titanic" was tied for third at $5 million with another love story, "The Object of My Affection," starring Jennifer Aniston of "Friends" as a pregnant woman in love with a gay man, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

"Object of My Affection" fell fast from a debut weekend of $12 million.

"Titanic" in its 19th week of domestic release has sold $561 million in the U.S. and Canada. It placed fourth the previous weekend.

Elsewhere in the world it passed $1 billion this week, becoming the No. 1 money-making film in 59 locations from Argentina to Yugoslavia. It is No. 2 and still rising in the other two showings in Singapore and Turkey, 20th Century Fox International said.

"When you think that no other picture has done over $913 million worldwide, it's something we may not see again for a long, long time," Fox spokesman Tom Sherak said.

"Titanic" has nearly doubled the previous international record held by "Jurassic Park." Although the pace of international earnings has slowed from $30 million to about $25 million weekly, "Titanic" is estimated by Fox to take aboard another $200 million at foreign ports before this voyage ends.

"Lost in Space," dropped to No. 5 with $4.4 million, followed by "Paulie" at $4.3 million.

In seventh was Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple II: Traveling Light" at $2.5 million, followed by "The Players Club" with $2.2 million and "Mercury Rising" with $2.1 million. "Scream II" rounded out the top 10 in its first week of re-release with $1.8 million.

Dropping out of the top 10 as its receipts fell 65% to $1.4 million was "Species 2" in 11th place.

New release "Tarzan and the Lost City" was next at $1 million.

In limited release on just 117 screens, "Sliding Door" starring Gwyneth Paltrow earned the most money per screen, $7,009, to take in $820,00 in its first weekend.

Also well-attended in its debut was "The Truce," on only five screens for a total of $23,000.

Final figures will be released today.

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