Slower than "Batman" or "E.T.," faster than "Ghost" and just about everything else -- that's the story of "Home Alone," which last week topped the $200 million mark at the box office. It hit that figure in its 72nd day of release, less than half the time it took "Ghost" to top $200 million, but 34 days longer than it took "Batman" and six days longer than "E.T." "Home Alone," by the way, has now topped the box office charts for 11 weeks in a row. The movie had a significant 34 percent drop from the previous weekend, but during Super Bowl weekend most other films dropped just as sharply, and nothing seriously challenged the comedy for the top spot.
The war in the Persian Gulf is having an increasing effect on film production around the world. Part of director David Cronenberg's adaptation of William Burroughs's novel "Naked Lunch," for instance, was scheduled to be shot in Tangier; after the war began, though, the Moroccan government issued travel advisories and that portion of the shoot was canceled. The script is now being rewritten, taking it farther away from Burroughs's book and relying more on Cronenberg's (often gruesome) imagination. At the same time, Roger Corman's Concorde Pictures has run into problems on productions shooting around the world because tightened security has led to delays on all international courier shipments; Buena Vista decided not to send the stars of "Green Card" to Europe for a planned press junket, and instead flew the European press to Los Angeles; Columbia canceled the scheduled appearances of Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine and Mike Nichols at the London opening of "Postcards From the Edge"; and Freedom Distribution, an American company, had to postpone a film based on the 1981 Israeli bombing of an Iraqi nuclear reactor because the film's Israeli co-producers were unable to leave Israel. Paramount Pictures also canceled its production of "The Innocent," which was due to begin shooting in Germany in mid-February, but the studio says its move was unrelated to the war.
Veteran director David Lean's production of the Joseph Conrad novel "Nostromo," which was to begin shooting in France in a month, is also on hold -- but in this case it's because the 82-year-old director is ill. The producers still hope to begin work on the $44 million production that stars Dennis Quaid ... Ivan Reitman, who directed Arnold Schwarzenegger as a tough policeman in a comic predicament in "Kindergarten Cop," may soon do the same for another muscle-bound action-movie star. Reitman will co-produce "Stop or My Mom Will Shoot," in which Sylvester Stallone will play a cop who must team up with his mother to solve a murder -- and reportedly Reitman is being wooed to direct as well.
According to an associate of Jodie Foster, the actress is fascinated with Penny Marshall's film "Awakenings" and the Oliver Sacks book from which it was made -- and to that end, Orion Pictures has just purchased a similar project specifically for Foster. The studio has secured rights to "The Dinosaur Man," a yet-unpublished book by psychologist Susan Baur that details the author's experience working with schizophrenics, in particular an enormously disturbed patient known as "the dinosaur man." The manuscript has been sent to screenwriter Ted Tally, who wrote the script for Foster's upcoming film "The Silence of the Lambs," in which she plays an FBI agent who enlists the help of a brilliant, psychopathic psychologist to track down a serial killer ... Julie Kavner, who costars in "Awakenings" as a devoted nurse to the doctor played by Robin Williams -- but who may be best known as the voice of Marge Simpson -- has won her first starring role in a feature film. She'll play an actress whose fame makes things difficult for her two daughters in "This Is Your Life," the directorial debut of screenwriter and novelist Nora Ephron ... Mick Jagger has been signed to costar with Anthony Hopkins and Emilio Estevez in "Free-Jack," a sci-fi action-adventure film that began shooting this week in Atlanta.