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'Weapon' fires bull's-eye in nation's theaters

By
VERNON SCOTT, UPI Hollywood Reporter

HOLLYWOOD -- 'Lethal Weapon' blasted its way to the top of the box-office heap for the second week in a row, collecting $7.1 million last week for a 4 percent increase from its opening frame.

The action-packed drama starring Mel Gibson as a slightly crazed Los Angeles detective and his ready-for-retirement partner, played by Danny Glover, has amassed $16.9 million in only two weeks in release.

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'Lethal Weapon' grossed $6.8 million the previous week in the same number of theaters -- 1,256.

Dropping farther behind the nation's No. 1 film was 'Nightmare on Elm Street 3.' It fell off 25 percent with a gross of $5 million in 1,365 theaters, 13 fewer than the previous week.

But the third appearance of Freddy Krueger with his knife-blade fingers proved to be the most popular of the series thus far released. In three weeks the occult horror film has grossed $24.8 million.

No. 3 in the weekly rankings was 'Platoon,' director Oliver Stone's stark Vietnam War drama, favored to win the Academy Award for best picture on March 30 at the 59th annual Oscar presentations.

'Platoon' marched along with a gross of $4.6 million in its 14th week playing on 1,556 screens. It dropped 24 percent from the previous week. So far it has totaled $91.6 million.

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Making its debut was 'Tin Men,' an uproarious comedy about aluminum siding salesmen starring Richard Dreyfus and Danny DeVito. In its first week in general release 'Tin Men' grossed $4 million in only 684 theaters. It was No. 4 in the rankings.

'Angel Heart,' starring Mickey Rourke in the role of a sleazy detective involved in the devil's work, grossed $2.7 million in its second week, a drop of 26 percent. Playing on 819 screens, the bloody occult drama has now grossed a total of $7.7 million.

Two newcomers to theaters opened disappointingly, 'Heat' starring Burt Reynolds (No. 10), and 'Evil Dead II' (No. 13).

For the first time since its release 25 weeks ago, 'Crocodile Dundee' dropped out of the top 10. It was No. 11 with a gross of $1.3 million and a grand total of $155.4 million.

The year 1987 could become the biggest financial success in Hollywood history if the current movie-going boom continues. Last week the national gross was an enormous $82 million at a traditionally slow time of year. The total for the same week last year was $63.2 million.

The all-time box-office year was the record-setting 1985, which amassed $623 million for the first two and a half months of the calendar year. This year that total is already $661.3 million.

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The top 10, last week's gross, total gross, weeks in release:

1. 'Lethal Weapon,' $7.1 million, $16.9 million, 2 weeks.

2. 'Nightmare on Elm Street 3,' $5 million, $24.8 million, 3 weeks.

3. 'Platoon,' $4.6 million, $91.6 million, 13 weeks.

4. 'Tin Men,' $4 million, 1 week.

5. 'Angel Heart,' $2.7 million, $7.7 million, 2 weeks.

6. 'Some Kind of Wonderful,' $2.6 million, $10.9 million, 3 weeks.

7. 'Outrageous Fortune,' $2.5 million, $40.9 million, 7 weeks.

8. 'Mannequin,' $2.5 million, $24.3 million, 5 weeks.

9. 'Hoosiers,' $2.4 million, $14.8 million, 17 weeks.

10. 'Heat,' $1.3 million, 1 week.

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