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'Mortal' Beloved

This week’s box office numbers

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In a fierce three-way battle for young male action fans, Mortal Kombat emerged the box office winner for the second week running. Thanks to Kombat‘s broad multiethnic appeal, the PG-13-rated action film survived its clashes with the well-hyped neo-spaghetti Western Desperado and Clive Barker’s latest gorefest, Lord of Illusions. One key to Kombat‘s success: positioning. Unlike the honchos behind such ill-fated videogame movies as Super Mario Bros., Double Dragon, and Street Fighter, execs at New Line Cinema de-emphasized commercial tie-ins, encouraging fans to focus on the movie’s sheer entertainment value.