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'Vampires' Shows Its Bite in Fright-Filled Weekend

Box officeFilms with demonic or supernatural themes dominate Halloween choices. Fantasy hit "Pleasantville" is nudged to second place.

November 02, 1998|From ASSOCIATED PRESS

"John Carpenter's Vampires" edged out the still-strong "Pleasantville" for first place in a Halloween box-office weekend in which six of the top-10 films dealt with supernatural or evil themes.

"Vampires," starring James Woods, overcame bad reviews to open with $9.2 million, the best debut for a Carpenter film, topping his "Escape From L.A.," which opened with $8.9 million in 1996.

In third place was "Practical Magic," "Bride of Chucky" was fifth, "Beloved" was seventh, "What Dreams May Come" was ninth and "Apt Pupil" was 10th. Just missing the top 10 in a weekend filled with death and darkness was the horror film "Urban Legend," in 11th position.

"Pleasantville," an optimistic fantasy about bringing color to the black-and-white TV lives of a sitcom town, sold $6.6 million in tickets for second, losing only 25% of its opening figure in its second week.

DreamWorks' "Antz" took in $4.1 million for fourth place. With $67.4 million in ticket sales to date, it became the top-selling animated feature not made by Disney--surpassing 1996's "Beavis & Butt-head Do America," which took in $62.8 million.

"Practical Magic" made $5.1 million, "Bride of Chucky" grabbed $4 million, and "Rush Hour" pulled in another $3.4 million to take sixth place.

"Beloved" continued to tumble, with $2.6 million. After three weeks, the Oprah Winfrey movie has sold just $18.6 million in tickets.

Plunging further was the futuristic "Soldier," which dropped 60% in its second week to finish eighth with $2.58 million.

"What Dreams May Come" earned $2.4 million, and "Apt Pupil" had $1.7 million.

Among the films in limited release, "Beloved" scriptwriter Richard LaGravenese's directing debut, "Living Out Loud," opened well, collecting $142,700 on eight screens for a per-location average of $17,838. The neo-Nazi tale "American History X" didn't fare as well, bringing in $148,000 on 17 screens for an average of $8,706 per screen.

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