But it's the only success story as the pre-'Phantom Menace' releases continue to bomb

By Josh Wolk
Updated May 03, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
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”Entrapment” made the most of its slight competition, coming in first, with an estimated $20.7 million, grabbing the title of All-Time Best April Opening from ”Life,” which had pulled in $20.4 million in its debut, two weeks ago. But the Sean Connery heist movie was the weekend’s only bright spot as movie theaters continue to wallow in the lull before the storm that is ”The Phantom Menace”’s May 19 opening. The total box office take last weekend — the lowest of the year so far — was around $62 million, which is substantially less than ”Menace” will rake in by itself over the Memorial Day holiday.

Trailing ”Entrapment” were a list of old favorites: ”The Matrix” ($8.7 million), ”Life” ($6.4 million), ”Never Been Kissed” ($4.2 million), and ”Analyze This” ( $2.2 million). These holdovers have been supported in their reign near the top by a bunch of more recent films that have shot right to the bottom and propped them up: In only their second weekends, ”Pushing Tin” dropped to eighth place, with $1.3 million, and ”Lost & Found” plummeted out of the top 10 entirely, with roughly $1 million. But the biggest loser was ”Idle Hands,” which debuted in seventh, with only $1.8 million. Whether the murdering-teen horror flick’s failure came because of sensitivity to the Littleton disaster or just because it was a piece of junk is unclear — one that no one but Columbia execs are likely to spend much time pondering.

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