Paced by the year’s two top-grossing films, “The Lion King” and “Forrest Gump,” Hollywood made a lot of money over the New Year’s weekend. A record-breaking $115 million, in fact.
While “Lion King,” buoyed by the fourday weekend, passed the $300 million mark ($300.4 million to be exact), “Gump” still ranked as 1994’s biggest financial success with a $298.6 million take. Hollywood’s year ended at midnight New Year’s Eve.
“Lion King” is now the fourth-highest-grossing film in history.
As for the week itself, figures provided by Exhibitor Relations Inc. showed that Jim Carrey’s career was still on track. “Dumb & Dumber” grossed $14.9 to lead all films for the third straight week.
“Dumb” held off the Michael Douglas-Demi Moore effort “Disclosure” (No. 2, $11.7 million) and “The Jungle Book” (No. 3, $10.1 million).
Disney’s “The Santa Clause” not only continued to do well, earning $8.2 million to rank No.6 and but it upped its eight-week total to $137.5 million. The Tim Allen-starring film’s weekend earnings made it the studio’s highest-grossing, live-action effort.
Studio executives, already pleased by 1994’s record-breaking year (an all-time high of $5.4 million) must have crowed when the New Year’s totals outgrossed the Christmas weekend by more than 20 percent.