‘Candyman’ Top Premiering Film

Despite its sure-to-spoil-your-appetite title, horror hit wannabe “Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh” managed to become the highest-grossing movie premiere over the weekend. So it goes.

However, the “Outbreak” juggernaut rolls on. The killer virus thriller with Dustin Hoffman earned a $10.8 million to retain its No. 1 spot at the box office, according to figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations and Entertainment Data Inc.

Other debut films did mere middling business. “Bye Bye, Love,” a divorced dad comedy starring Paul Reiser, Matthew Modine and Randy Quaid earned $4.5 million and ended up No. 4. “Losing Isaiah,” which features two superb performances by Halle Berry as the drugaddicted woman who loses her baby boy and Jessica Lange as the social worker who ends up adopting him, did appreciably worse, grossing $2.5 million to place No. 5.

But even potential Oscars didn’t help such films as “The Madness of King George” (No. 12, $911,765) and “The Shawshank Redemption” (No. 13, $875,446). Both were playing in limited release (464 locations for “King George,” 663 locations for “Shawshank”).

But there’s a bright spot on the horizon. “Muriel’s Wedding,” a charming little import from Australia, earned $576,113 at just 41 locations - a whopping $14,052 perlocation average.

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