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‘Birdcage’ Edges ‘Decision’

Facing a choice of cross-dressers or Kurt Russell, the nation chose to go gay over the weekend, propelling “The Birdcage” to another multi-million-dollar performance at the box office.

Earning $16.3 million, the Mike Nichols film with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane remained the No. 1 film in the nation, according to figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations Co.

Back in the runner-up spot, the action thriller “Executive Decision” - which features Steven Seagal in a co-starring role - earned $12.1 million.

The week’s other openings went pretty much where the rancid popcorn goes.

“Ed,” the monkey-trouble comedy starring “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc, earned just $1.91 million while playing in 1,541 locations.

But even that was an amazing feat compared to how poorly the Antonio Banderas-Melanie Griffith romantic comedy “Two Much” fared. That film, which played in only 348 locations, barely grossed $593,000.

Compare that to “Fargo,” the Joel and Ethan Coen murder mystery that is scheduled to open in Spokane March 29. It earned $914,000 while playing in only 58 locations (good enough for a whopping $15,762 per-location average).

Meanwhile, “Mr. Holland’s Opus” held strong in the No. 6 spot, earning $2.22 million to push its seven-week total to $69.9 million.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo