Robert De Niro muscles his way to the top of the box office while Nicolas Cage takes a fall

By Liane Bonin
Updated March 08, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST


Maybe if ”Taxi Driver” had been a comedy, it would have been a bigger hit. ”Analyze This,” which features Robert De Niro as a mobster seeking mental help from psychiatrist Billy Crystal, soared to No. 1 this weekend with $17.2 million, making this De Niro’s biggest opening weekend in a starring role. (”Ronin,” his last outing, opened at $12.7 million.) The debut of ”Cruel Intentions,” starring Ryan Phillippe and Sarah Michelle Gellar, lured in audiences with a taste for mean teens, taking second place with $13.2 million. In just one weekend the teen remake of ”Dangerous Liaisons” has made back its $11 million budget.

Nasty teenagers and tortured mobsters left little room for porn, apparently, as the critically slammed ”Eight Millimeter” nose-dived to third, dropping 51 percent in ticket sales to scrape in just $7 million. With a total take of $25.3 million so far, the movie is shaping up to be a disappointment for Sony. ”The Other Sister” held strong at fourth with $5.6 million, while Mel Gibson’s ”Payback” dropped to No. 5 with $4.1 million.


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