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Murder by Numbers

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Somewhere, Hannibal Lecter is smiling. Hollywood’s love affair with serial killers, dating back to 1991’s Oscar-winning blockbuster The Silence of the Lambs, shows no sign of waning as Kiss the Girls gored its way to the top spot. Its $13.2 million opening nearly equaled the $13.9 million Seven (also starring Morgan Freeman) earned during its 1995 debut. Given its anemic reviews, Kiss isn’t likely to equal Seven‘s $100 million final tally. There were limits to moviegoers’ blood lust, though: Director Oliver Stone’s violent comic noir U-Turn simply died with a miserable $2.7 million eighth-place opening. Proving there’s an audience that prefers a hearty family drama to fava beans and a nice Chianti, Soul Food climbed from third to second place while boasting the highest per-screen average in the top 20.

NO. OF WEEKEND WEEKS GROSS WEEKEND SCREENS PER-SCREEN IN TO TOP 20 GROSS* [**] AVERAGE RELEASE DATE*

1 KISS THE GIRLS Paramount $13.2 2,271 $5,819 1 $13.2 2 SOUL FOOD 20th Century Fox $8.4 1,350 $6,191 2 $22.7 3 THE PEACEMAKER DreamWorks $8.2 2,401 $3,402 2 $24.2 4 IN & OUT Paramount $7.7 2,373 $3,254 3 $40.8 5 THE EDGE 20th Century Fox $5.0 2,355 $2,129 2 $15.2 6 L.A. CONFIDENTIAL Warner Bros. $4.7 1,625 $2,897 3 $17.8 7 THE GAME PolyGram $2.9 2,365 $1,231 4 $40.2 8 U-TURN TriStar $2.7 1,230 $2,220 1 $2.7 9 THE FULL MONTY Fox Searchlight $2.3 762 $2,957 8 $17.2 10 WES CRAVEN’S WISHMASTER LIVE Entertainment $1.5 1,727 $892 3 $13.3 11 THE MATCHMAKER Gramercy $1.4 705 $1,956 1 $1.4 12 CONTACT Warner Bros. $0.8 896 $888 13 $99.0 13 AIR FORCE ONE Columbia $0.8 1,094 $691 10 $169.0 14 G.I. JANE Hollywood $0.7 1,371 $536 7 $45.8 15 A THOUSAND ACRES Touchstone $0.7 1,067 $664 3 $6.8 16 MEN IN BLACK Columbia $0.7 922 $746 14 $243.0 17 MRS. BROWN Miramax $0.5 432 $1,209 11 $6.9 18 MONEY TALKS New Line $0.5 930 $556 7 $39.5 19 MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING TriStar $0.5 771 $611 16 $123.2 20 GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE Walt Disney $0.5 757 $604 12 $101.4

SOURCE: EXHIBITOR RELATIONS CO. INC. WEEKEND OF OCT. 3-5 *WEEKEND GROSS AND GROSS-TO-DATE FIGURES IN MILLIONS

[**] INCLUDES SOME MULTISCREEN THEATERS AND PRINTS SHIPPED AS WELL AS INDIVIDUAL SCREENS

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