Box office lines shorten in blockbuster summer


...6TC The blistering summer movie box-office pace cooled a bit last weekend, with about 15 percent of the previous weekend's audience deciding to wait for Friday's release of "Batman Returns."

"Patriot Games" remained at the top of the chart in its second weekend, earning $11.2 million, or 61 percent of its opening frame's intake. The new spy thriller has accumulated $36.5 million in 10 days of release. It looks much more solid than the quick flame-out "Alien 3" (which spent its fourth weekend in seventh place, with $46.6 million to date) but not as spectacular as fourth-ranked "Lethal Weapon 3" ($114 million in five weeks).

Whoopi Goldberg's musical comedy "Sister Act" once again ran a strong second, dropping a measly 15 percent in its third weekend, earning $9.5 million. Gross to date is $42.6 million.

"Housesitter" took up residence right behind "Sister Act," with $9.1 million.

Fifth-place "Far and Away" has grossed only $37.3 million in four weeks. Sixth-ranked "Encino Man" has earned $29 million in the same amount of time.

"Class Act," which targeted the same teen-age audience as "Encino," will not be able to claim the same happy results. Already in eighth place on its second weekend, the Kid 'N Play classroom comedy has accumulated an underachieving $6.7 million.

The bottom rungs of the top 10 were occupied by "Basic Instinct" and "Wayne's World."

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