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Strong Box Office Sales Give ‘Flubber’ Opening Bounce

Tue., Dec. 2, 1997

“Flubber” bounced to the top of the box office and the fourth “Alien” movie scared up some strong numbers as both made their debuts over the five-day Thanksgiving period.

The Robin Williams film about rubbery green goo earned $36.4 million, according to estimates Sunday by Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc.

“Alien Resurrection,” starring Sigourney Weaver and Winona Ryder, was the only other film to open in wide release. It grossed $27.2 million.

“Flubber,” Disney’s remake of its 1961 comedy “The Absent Minded Professor,” didn’t beat last year’s record Thanksgiving opening of $45.1 million for another Disney remake, the live-action version of “101 Dalmatians.” However, “Dalmatians” was the only wide-release premiere that weekend.

A PG-13 comedy, the British import “Bean,” was No. 9 but had the lowest audience drop-off of any top 10 film. Its take of $4.1 million was off just 4 percent from a week earlier.

Family-oriented movies often do better during holiday weekends, said industry analyst David Davis, a vice president at the investment banking firm of Houlihan, Lokey, Howard & Zukin.

Davis noted that Fox’s animated musical “Anastasia” also performed well in its second week against Disney’s rerelease of “The Little Mermaid.”

“Anastasia” fell from No. 2 to No. 3 with $16.7 million. “The Little Mermaid” was No. 8 with $4.7 million in ticket sales.

“It’s put Fox on the map and establishes it as the leading competitor to Disney,” Davis said.


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