Ordinarily, a box office gross of $14 million on a non-holiday, non-summer weekend would be quite an accomplishment -- but it doesn't feel that way after the much-hyped "Rocky V" grossed $14.1 million last weekend, because the less-ballyhooed John Hughes comedy "Home Alone" made $3 million more than that. At the same time, "Home Alone" gave "Rocky" a sound beating when it came to per-screen averages: Sylvester Stallone's latest sequel made a decent $6,855 for each theater that showed it, but "Home Alone" did more than twice that, averaging $14,211. (The two movies weren't in the same league with "Dances With Wolves' " $40,363 average, but neither was anything else.)
The pattern of the last couple of "Rocky" movies has been for the figures to fall quickly after a big opening -- and if that happens this time, Hollywood may have to amend the conventional wisdom that Stallone is only really bankable as Rocky Balboa and John Rambo. VI Is Enough, Captain
Like Stallone, the makers of another long-running series are promising that the next installment will be the final one. "Star Trek VI," which will come out late next year on the 25th anniversary of the TV show's debut, will absolutely be the last voyage of the original "Star Trek" crew, according to Paramount and the cast and crew. Nicholas Meyer, who wrote and directed "Star Trek II," will handle the same chores for this one -- but executive producer Harve Bennett, who's been one of the mainstays of the series, has left the project because Paramount decided against his scenario for the film. Bennett proposed using younger actors to show how the Starship Enterprise crew members came together, but the studio opted for Meyer's idea, which deals with Mr. Spock falling in love.
Oh, the Movies He'll Make!
Roland Joffe, who has directed such epics as "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission," is tackling a few less highbrow films under his new production agreement with Tri-Star. Among the movies Joffe will produce is "Oh, the Places You'll Go!," the first feature film to be taken from the children's books of Dr. Seuss. It will combine live action and animation with about a dozen songs; its script was written by Theodore Geisel, Dr. Seuss himself. And although it doesn't fall under his Tri-Star pact, Joffe is working on a movie based on a more recent children's phenomenon, Nintendo's "Super Mario Brothers" video game. The script is being written by "Rain Man" co-writer Barry Morrow; though not official, Danny DeVito will probably take the lead role.
Last week's abrupt end to the multimillion-dollar deal between Paramount and "Days of Thunder" producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer happened partly because the studio and the control-hungry producers hadn't been getting along for some time. But it's also the clearest indication yet of just what Hollywood learned during the summer of 1990: Loud, expensive movies like "Dick Tracy," "Another 48 Hrs.," "Days of Thunder" -- or, in fact, just about any Simpson-Bruckheimer movie ever made, from "Flashdance" to "Top Gun" -- can no longer steamroller over quieter films like "Ghost" and "Pretty Woman." And if loud and expensive movies are on their way out, so are their producers... . Martin Scorsese began work in Florida this week on "Cape Fear," his remake of the 1962 Gregory Peck thriller. Peck, Robert Mitchum and Martin Balsam -- the three male leads in the original film -- will have cameos in the new version, but the main roles have been taken by Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange... . Director Werner Herzog has finished shooting "Scream of Stone," a love triangle set against the world of mountain climbing. The script was written by Reinhold Messner, a mountaineer who has climbed Mount Everest without an oxygen mask and who took over the director's chair for the most difficult climbing scenes. The movie's international cast includes French actress Mathilda May, Italian actor Vittorio Mezzogiorno, German mountain climber Stefan Glowacz and Canadian actor Donald Sutherland... . And finally, Little Richard says he's in the planning stages on an autobiographical movie. Typically, the flamboyant rocker has strong opinions about who should play him: Eddie Murphy, he says, would "talk too nasty" and isn't good-looking enough to play the role, so he wants Michael Jackson... .