"Scream 2" Grosses Record Box Office

From E! Online (12/14/97), by Bridget Byrne

Loud and clear, Scream 2 resonated as a convincing winner at the weekend box office. Wes Craven's gleefully gory slasher sequel to his mega-hit Scream did record business, achieving the highest ever December opening with $39.2 million in ticket sales.

That makes the luscious ladies of this fright night franchise, returnees Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox and newcomers Jada Pinkett and Tori Spelling, almost twice as valuable as that beastly boy cartoon duo Beavis and Butt-head, who were the previous record holders when their Beavis and Butt-head Do America took in $20.1 million last December.

These Scream team females also zapped it to the two other movies opening wide this weekend, severely deadening the impact of the comedy For Richer or Poorer and another sequel Home Alone 3. Neither the Kirstie Alley-Tim Allen coupling nor new baddie-bashing kid Alex D. Linz proved particularly attractive to audiences. The movies charted third and fourth, respectively, with a modest $6 million and a meager $5.1 million. They failed to land ahead of Robin Williams' Flubber, which after two weeks at the top dropped to second place with $6.9 million.

Much more impressive was two movies opening in limited release, thanks to directors' well established reputations. Steven Spielberg's historical drama Amistad came in fifth with $4.6 million (although it only played on 322 screens compared to Scream 2's 3,112). Meanwhile, Woody Allen's latest comic psychological probe, Deconstructing Harry, had the best per-screen average of $32,500, but couldn't crack the Top 10 since it played on only 10 screens and took in $325,000.

Estimated totals for Friday through Sunday are:

1. Scream 2, $39.2 million
2. Flubber, $6.9 million
3. For Richer or Poorer, $6 million
4. Home Alone 3, $5.1 million
5. Amistad, $4.6 million
6. John Grisham's The Rainmaker, $3.4 million
7. Alien Resurrection, $3.3 million
8. Anastasia, $3.1 million
9. The Jackal, $2.5 million
10. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, $1.8 million

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