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Weekend Box Office

Murphy Has the Golden Touch

June 30, 1998|ROBERT W. WELKOS

The doctor is in.

Eddie Murphy was the big story as two of his films--"Dr. Dolittle" and "Mulan"--were the two top-grossing movies over the weekend.

"Dr. Dolittle," which stars Murphy as a physician who converses with animals, debuted at No. 1 with $29 million in ticket sales. It was Murphy's best opening in recent years, better even than "The Nutty Professor," which debuted on June 28, 1996, at $25.4 million.

Murphy also supplied the voice for the wisecracking little dragon in Disney's "Mulan," which garnered $17 million in its second week in release.

Analyzing the success of "Dr. Dolittle," Tom Sherak, distribution chief at 20th Century Fox, said the film "worked from the inside out--the numbers for the South, Midwest and Southwest were huge and the coasts were excellent. When it works that way, you have a big movie."

* Meanwhile, "Gone With the Wind" earned $1.2 million in limited re-release.

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Three-day gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1. "Dr. Dolittle" $29.0 2,777 1 (Fox) $29.0 $10,448 2. "Mulan" $17.0 2,921 2 (Disney) $54.2 $5,826 3. "The X-Files" $13.3 2,850 2 (Fox) $54.9 $5,012 4. "Out of Sight" $12.0 2,107 1 (Universal) $12.0 $5,705 5. "The Truman Show" $8.5 2,911 4 (Paramount) $99.5 $2,922 6. "Six Days, $7.6 2,606 3 Seven Nights" (Disney/Touchstone) $47.1 $2,909 7. "A Perfect Murder" $5.3 2,438 4 (Warner Bros.) $55.2 $2,163 8. "Hope Floats" $2.4 1,459 5 (Fox) $48.9 $1,669 9. "Can't Hardly Wait" $2.1 1,901 3 (Sony/Columbia) $21.2 $1,125 10. "The Horse Whisperer" $1.9 1,419 7 (Disney/Touchstone) $66.5 $1,329 * "Gone With the Wind" (re-re lease) $1.2 214 1 (New Line) $193.1 $5,573

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SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co.

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