HOLLYWOOD -- Military-courtroom drama 'A Few Good Men' continued to muster the moviegoing troops at the pre-Christmas box office with an impressive $11.1-million weekend gross at 1,925 screens.
'Men,' charging to its second easy weekend victory, has now grossed $32 million in its first 10 days, and has a good shot at winding up in the $75 million range for Columbia. But it will need to show some legs in the coming weeks to justify its reported $40-million price tag.
Still, a trio of rival new releases with major stars met with a chilly reception this weekend at the box office, posting results well under expectations.
However, strong holdover business kept the overall gross roughly comparable to that of the same weekend of 1991.
The best of the new releases was Warner Bros.' romance 'Forever Young,' starring Mel Gibson as a World War II test pilot who is unfrozen after five decades, with $5.6 million at 1,710 screens to finish fourth. It opened Wednesday, has a five-day gross of $6.9 million and could rack up a middling $30 million take in its domestic run.
20th Century Fox's big-budget 'Toys,' starring Robin Williams, finished sixth with a mild $4.8 million at 1,270 screens, and Paramount's 'Leap of Faith,' was a disappointing ninth with $3.2 million at 1,554 screens.
'Leap of Faith' appeared dead on arrival, despite an energetic performance by Steve Martin as a conman-preacher and a dozen rousing gospel songs.
'Toys' was also a big letdown, as it featured a major publicity campaign, the star power of Williams and a reported $50 million spent on the movie itself -- including a variety of dazzling special effects. But reviewers have observed the movie lacks a clear vision of its target audience.
As for holdovers, several continued to perform strongly, with Disney's 'Aladdin' leading the pack in second place, with $7.2 million at 1,502 screens. The showing brought 'Aladdin''s total after four weeks in wide release to nearly $60 million.
Fox's 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York' followed with $6.8 million at 2,352 screens, pushing its 31-day total to nearly $110 million.
'A Few Good Men,' 'Aladdin' and 'Home Alone 2' will probably continue to lead the box office during the Christmas weekend.
'Men' has strong adult appeal, plus the star power of Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise, while 'Aladdin' and 'Home Alone 2' should keep producing strong results from children able to start spending their holiday bucks. Additionally, Disney is adding at least 500 screens to 'Aladdin' on Christmas Day.
Three new films will open on Christmas Day, but expectations are mixed, given their serious focus and lukewarm initial reviews.
Fox's 'Hoffa,' starring Nicholson and Danny DeVito, will probably perform the best, while TriStar's 'Chaplin,' starring Robert Downey Jr., and Universal's 'Trespass' may ring up respectable business.
'Trespass,' an urban-actioner starring rappers Ice-T and Ice Cube, was slated for a summer release as 'Looters,' but the studio delayed it and changed the title following the Los Angeles riots.
Warner's 'The Bodyguard,' propelled by star Whitney Houston's hit song 'I Will Always Love You,' continued to perform well in fifth with a solid weekend of $5.4 million at 1,806 screens, bringing its four-week total to nearly $60 million.
'Toys' finished sixth followed by two disappointing Disney comedies: 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' with a $4.1 million at 2,084 screens in its second weekend, and 'The Distinguished Gentleman' with $3.7 million at 1,984 screens in its third weekend. 'Gentleman' has been a major under-performer, given the star power of Eddie Murphy.
'Leap of Faith' followed in ninth and rounding out the Top 10 was Warner's 'Malcolm X' with $1.2 million at 1,202 screens. That gave it a five-week total of nearly $38 million and it will probably continue to draw respectable grosses for several more weeks.
Columbia's 'Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'' was 11th with $1 million at 1, 205 screens to give it nearly $80 million. Miramax's Northern Ireland thriller 'The Crying Game' took in an impressive $601,112 at just 88 screens.
Weekend gross, screens, total gross, weeks in release:
1. 'A Few Good Men,' $11.1 million, 1,925, $32 million, 2 weeks.
2. 'Aladdin,' $7.2 million, 1,502, $59.8 million, 6 weeks.
3. 'Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,' $6.8 million, 2,354, $110.1 million, 4 weeks.
4. 'Forever Young,' $5.6 million, 1,710, $6.9 million, 1 week.
5. 'The Bodyguard,' $5.4 million, 1806, $59.3 million, 4 weeks.
6. 'Toys,' $4.8 million, 1,272, 1 week.
7. 'The Muppet Christmas Carol,' $4 million, 2,084, $10.5 million, 2 weeks.
8. 'The Distinguished Gentleman,' $3.7 million, 1,984, $24 million, 3 weeks.
9. 'Leap of Faith,' $3.2 million, 1,554, 1 week.
10. 'Malcolm X,' $1.3 million, 1,079, $37.9 million, 5 weeks.