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JURASSIC Park" is not the only film...


JURASSIC Park" is not the only film Hollywood types are talking about this summer. "Sleepless in Seattle," featuring views of our own photogenic city in many scenes, had a spectacular opening last weekend, bringing in $17 million. Jed Dietz, who helped found the new Producers Club of Maryland to encourage more film activity in the state, says that is a phenomenally successful first weekend for a film of this type.

Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger's newest flick, "Last Action Hero," is turning out to be a major disappointment. Second-weekend attendance dropped dramatically from its opening figures, a sign that word-of-mouth on the film is not drawing more customers.

Unlike "Jurassic Park," which leaves kids (and many adults) practically vibrating afterward, "Last Action Hero" doesn't seem

to leave much of an impression at all. Mr. Dietz speculates that perhaps it's difficult for veteran action-movie writers and directors to spoof their own genre. Whatever the problem, unless the film takes off in foreign markets in a big way, Columbia Pictures will be kissing bye-bye to a lot of dollars.

"Sleepless in Seattle" cost much less to make, so it won't take as much to generate a profit. But after one weekend, it's well on the way to breaking even.

In addition to good writing, smart directing and spectacular cinematography, the film was also introduced to audiences in a clever way, trickled out around the country in screenings for opinion makers to generate wider interest.

And just think -- it doesn't feature a single murder or even a drop of blood.

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