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‘Outbreak’ Gets Healthy Response

Don’t panic, but there’s been an outbreak at the nation’s movie theaters - and, no, it doesn’t involve butter-flavored popcorn.

It involves “Outbreak,” the medical thriller that has rocketed to No. 1 in boxoffice listings. Starring Dustin Hoffman as a man rushing to stop a killer virus, “Outbreak” grossed $13.4 million in its debut weekend, according to figures provided by Exhibitor Relations Co. and Entertainment Data Inc.

That was good news for Warner Bros., but Disney and Paramount were less thrilled. The success of “Outbreak,” the week’s only opening, contrasted with the drop in business suffered by Disney’s “Man of the House” (No. 2, $6.8 million) and Paramount’s “The Brady Bunch Movie” (No. 3, $3.4 million).

And the fortunes of other recent releases continue to plummet. “The Hunted” (No. 18) earned $502,000 to bring its three-week total to $5.7 million, and “The Mangler” (No. 20) earned $376,000 to bring its twoweek total to just $1.5 million.

Speaking of declining fortunes, even seven Oscar nominations hasn’t helped Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway.” In its 22nd week of release, the theatrical comedy has earned just $11.9 million - which averages out to just $540,909 gross per week.

“Forrest Gump” (No. 8), on the other hand, has earned a grand total of $312 million.