Hollywood's big summer has given way to a big fall. These days, though, the statistics are slightly less impressive: September, for example, didn't shatter any box office records, but the 61 feature films that opened during the month make up the biggest September crop in decades. (Usually, 30 to 40 films are released during the month.)
Last weekend, meanwhile, the top 10 films made almost 20 percent more than the comparable pictures last year -- and in retaining its top position at the box office, "Fatal Attraction" had the biggest midautumn three-day weekend in film history.
By the way, "Fatal Attraction" and last week's other big moneymakers racked up their totals despite a marked one-day drop in the totals from one major market: Last Thursday, the day of Los Angeles' earthquake, Southern California box office grosses dropped significantly.
A Real Box Office Smash In Kentucky, one moviegoer rattled a few walls on his own over the weekend. A few minutes after a Lexington multiplex evicted a customer who was spotted moving from one theater to another, the enraged patron drove his tractor-trailer into the theater's lobby, tearing a hole in the wall, knocking over some video games and narrowly missing the popcorn counter.
The Bookers, Ahead of the Game The Motion Picture Bookers Club gave out its yearly awards in New York City yesterday, though the honors seemed to be part achievement and part wishful thinking. The big winners were Richard Attenborough for filmmaker of the year, Michael Douglas and Faye Dunaway for male and female stars of the year, and Matthew Modine and Jennifer Grey for stars of tomorrow. Grey and Douglas have appeared in solid hits so far this year ("Dirty Dancing" and "Fatal Attraction," respectively); Modine's "Orphans" has had a mixed reception both commercially and critically; Dunaway's "Barfly" hasn't opened yet and is reportedly too downbeat to generate big grosses; and Attenborough's "Cry Freedom" isn't out.
'Police Squad' for the Big Screen First, they made the big hit movie "Airplane." Then they adapted that dumb-joke-a-minute style to television and made an acclaimed but unsuccessful series, "Police Squad." Now David and Jerry Zucker are planning to make a movie out of their flop TV show; after signing a recent two-year development deal with Paramount, the Zuckers have just delivered a "Police Squad: The Movie" script to the studio. The brothers, who also produced "Ruthless People," say "Police Squad" should have been a movie in the first place, except that at the time they couldn't come up with a feature-length plot.
Coming Attractions When is a sequel not a sequel? Roger Corman has just given a new title to "Go for It," a horror film due out in a week. Now it's called "Slumber Party Massacre Part II." You're forgiven if you don't remember the original: It came out in 1982, complete with lots of nubile teens in jeopardy, a few slashings and, intriguingly enough, a script by feminist author Rita Mae Brown ... Speaking of sequels, "Arthur on the Rocks" begins shooting for Warner Bros. next month, with Bud Yorkin directing and Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli reprising their "Arthur" roles ... Six years in development, "Tequila Sunrise" will finally get underway for writer-director Robert Towne. Mel Gibson and Michelle Pfeiffer are set to star in the Cinema City love triangle drama, originally written as a vehicle for Warren Beatty in 1981.