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October 13, 1999

'Jeopardy' weekly triple spurs 20% gain over '98

Roger Cels
The Hollywood Reporter

DATELINE: "Random Hearts" joined with a pair of veterans

"Double Jeopardy" and "Three Kings" _ to lead the domestic boxoffice to a solid performance for the four-day Columbus Day weekend.

Receipts generated by the 94 features tracked by The Hollywood Reporter in North America climbed 20% over the same period last year to $99.4 million. Sales surged by 17% over last weekend's three-day tally.

Paramount's durable "Double Jeopardy" finished in first place for its third straight session, earning $15 million during the four days. The double-cross drama starring Ashley Judd and Tommy Lee Jones has generated $67.3 million.

Sony's "Random Hearts" opened in the place position with $14.3 million. That figure was essentially in line with expectations, though opening-night audience reaction combined with an unbalanced demographic profile call into question the project's longer-term prospects.

In surveys conducted Friday night by CinemaScore, only 57% of polled patrons graded the Harrison Ford-Kristin Scott Thomas romantic drama favorably. Positive word-of-mouth can be discounted based on such negative feedback.

Support was narrow, moreover, with older females comprising some two-thirds of the audience. Younger filmgoers must get involved for business to be sustained going forward.

Warner Bros.' "Three Kings" secured the show position with $13.3 million in its sophomore session. The Gulf War drama starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg has collected $34.1 million.

Paramount's "Superstar," the other major national release for the period, landed in fifth place with $9.8 million. That performance likewise was in sync with prerelease projections.

The comedy starring Molly Shannon played predominately to young women, which is not surprising given the story line of a schoolgirl in quest of her first kiss. A modest 71% of surveyed customers rated the film favorably.

DreamWorks' "American Beauty" finished in fourth place with $10.7 million as the Kevin Spacey-Annette Bening dark comedy continued its successful national rollout. Now playing in 1,226 theaters, sales sit at $32.3 million.

Buena Vista's "The Sixth Sense" earned $6.8 million for the four days, good enough for the sixth spot. The supernatural thriller featuring Bruce Willis has amassed $243.4 million.

Sony's "Blue Streak" was next with $6.4 million. The comedy starring Martin Lawrence has netted $55.9 million after four weeks.

Fox's teen comedy "Drive Me Crazy" took a tumble in its second session, collecting $4.4 million. The Melissa Joan Hart vehicle stands at $12.3 million in 11 days.

Sony's "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland" grabbed the ninth spot at $2.7 million. The Muppet movie has done $6.7 million in 11 days.

Universal's Kevin Costner baseball saga "For Love of the Game" rounded out the top 10 with $2.4 million. The feature has fielded $31.7 million to date.

In limited-release action, Artisan's crime thriller "The Limey," which stars Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda, opened to $202,149 in 17 situations. Fox Searchlight's "Boys Don't Cry," the true story of the brutal rape and murder of a young woman living as a man, earned $88,428 in just two theaters.

Fine Line's drama "Julien Donkey-Boy" did $11,845 in a single New York house, while Miramax's period drama "The Grandfather" earned $14,353 in two sites and Independent Artists' "The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human" found $5,248 in five theaters.

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