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Audiences Still Flocking to 'Impact'

Weekend Box Office

May 19, 1998|ROBERT W. WELKOS

The messages from this week's box-office race are clear: Heavily hyped action movies always seem to attract moviegoers this time of year; early summer can be a good time for studios to release their character-driven films aimed at over-35 audiences; and animated films lacking the Disney brand name face a difficult road.

"Deep Impact" proved that audiences will flock to action films as summer beckons. The movie remained atop the weekly box office for the second week in a row, grossing $23.4 million.

Meanwhile, Robert Redford's new film, "The Horse Whisperer," debuted at No. 2 with strong ticket sales of $13.7 million.

"I think 'The Horse Whisperer' just filled a niche for people who didn't feel like seeing a big action picture like 'Deep Impact,"' said Paul Dergarabedian, executive vice president of the box-office tracking firm Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

The news wasn't as good for Warner Bros., however, whose new animated feature "Quest for Camelot" took in only $6 million.

* "Bulworth," Warren Beatty's politically themed, rap-filled dark comedy, did extremely well in limited release.

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Three-day gross/ Screens/ Weeks in Movie (Studio) Total (millions) Average Release 1. "Deep Impact" $23.3 3,192 2 (Paramount/DreamWorks) $74.0 $7,289 2. "The Horse Whisperer" $13.7 2,039 1 (Disney/Touchstone) $13.7 $6,712 3. "The Quest for Camelot" $6.0 3,107 1 (Warner Bros.) $6.0 $1,945 4. "City of Angels" $3.1 2,245 6 (Warner Bros.) $66.2 $1,382 5. "He Got Game" $2.4 1,414 3 (Disney/Touchstone) $16.7 $1,730 6. "Titanic" $2.1 1,990 22 (Paramount/Fox) $572.7 $1,061 7. "Woo" $1.7 625 2 (New Line) $4.8 $2,670 8. "Paulie" $1.6 1,812 5 (DreamWorks) $20.4 $892 9. "Les Miserables" $1.5 1,477 3 (Sony/Columbia) $11.4 $1,002 10. "The Big Hit" $1.4 1,510 4 (Sony/TriStar) $25.4 $941 * "Bulworth" $141,816 2 1 (Fox) $141,816 $70,908

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\o7 SOURCE: Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.\f7

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