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‘Tide’ Swamps Competition

When it comes to movies at least, the Cold War is still a reality. In fact, it may be hotter than ever.

That’s what the temperature-rising opening of “Crimson Tide” indicates. The nuclear submarine thriller starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington torpedoed its competition by posting the biggest opening of 1995, earning $18.6 million, according to figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations Co.

“Crimson Tide” sank the rest of the week’s movie fare, beginning with the No. 2 entry, the romantic comedy “French Kiss.” That Meg Ryan-Kevin Kline feature earned an otherwise respectable $6.6 million.

Even so, “While You Were Sleeping,” which stars Sandra Bullock, continues to perform well. Its $6.5 million take upped its four week total to $43. 7 million.

Other than “Crimson Tide,” the week’s other openings performed forgettably. The Hugh Grant romance “The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill” placed No. 4 with a $2.8 million take.

“Gordy,” the pig who could, placed No. 8 and earned $1.6 million, while “The Perez Family” did no better than No. 12 ($1.13 million).

As for the week’s big losers, “Kiss of Death” ($683,000, $13.8 million in four weeks) fell to No. 15, “Jury Duty” ($391,000, $14.8 million in five weeks) fell to No. 19 and “Top Dog” ($378,000, $4.3 million in three weeks) fell to No. 20.

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