Arnold Schwarzenegger believed he would blow those dinosaurs all the way back to the Jurassic period when his summer flick opened last Friday.
To quote Ah-nold's catch phrase from Last Action Hero: "Big mistake."
Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park continued to stomp and chomp all comers with another record-setting box office performance in its second week of release. Jurassic Park added an estimated $38-million to its gross over the weekend, making it the fastest ever to reach the $100-million plateau. The dinosaur thriller reached that mark in only nine days, one less than it took Batman to do it in 1990.
Last Action Hero, hampered by the worst advance buzz for a big-budget film since Ishtar, collected an estimated $15.1-million in its debut weekend. That would be a bonanza for practically any other star, but not a proven box office juggernaut like Schwarzenegger. Nine of his movies have debuted at No. 1 in the box office rankings, including Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which reaped $52.3-million in its first five days of release in 1991.
The last Schwarzenegger film to be No. 2 when it opened was Kindergarten Cop, which was bested by Home Alone on Christmas weekend in 1990.
Tampa Bay theaters reported the same pattern as the national box office figures: Jurassic Park was still playing to packed houses, although not quite as many as the first week, and Last Action Hero performed well, but below expectations.
"Jurassic Park walked away with it," Britton Muvico theater manager Ron Santucci said of the showdown between Schwarzenegger and the dinosaurs. "We were prepared for Last Action Hero to be as big as Jurassic Park, but it didn't quite fill the shoes. Jurassic Park just stepped all over it."
Third place in the box office weekend totals went to Sylvester Stallone's Cliffhanger, which grossed $5.5-million. Tina Turner's biography What's Love Got to Do with It was fourth with $3.6-million in limited release. The film, starring St. Petersburg's Angela Bassett, opens in Tampa Bay this Friday.
The only other new release, Fox's Once Upon a Forest, opened in eighth place with an estimated $2.2-million take.
Meanwhile, Columbia Pictures executives painted a positive picture of Last Action Hero's box office totals.
"We couldn't be happier," Columbia's president of marketing and distribution Sid Ganis told the Hollywood Reporter.