LOS ANGELES -- "Wayne's World" made the record books, family films flew, "The Babe" hit a grounder, "Howard's End" homered and "Basic Instinct" was back on top at movie box offices over the holiday weekend.
With an Easter basket of new films that few wanted to see and a couple of rotten eggs that no one even went near, it was tried and true crowd-pleasers that occupied the lineup's top four spots. The explicit thriller "Instinct" returned to the No. 1 berth after several weeks out of the top spot, showing great legs (along with everything else) for a five-week cumulative gross of $70 million.
As usual, "Instinct" was closely crowded by "White Men Can't Jump." The second-place basketball comedy earned $6.1 million to the weekend leader's $6.5 million.
Snapping at both films' heels was the $5.9 million, third-place finisher, "Beethoven." With an insignificant 3 percent attendance drop off, the drooling-dog comedy lapped up most of the substantial holiday family business.
The animated "Ferngully . . . The Last Rainforest" also did well with the kiddies, falling only 7 percent behind its opening-weekend figures. "Steven King's Sleepwalkers," another sophomore entry, suffered a horror film's typical substantial plunge from first place. But the feline fear fest still landed on its feet in fourth place, ahead of the critically spitballed "The Babe." John Goodman as the Sultan of Swat could only swing to a $5 million, fifth-place finish.
"Babe" led an unimpressive field of rookies, including the sixth-ranked drug thriller "Deep Cover" ($3.5 million); the seventh-placed spectacle of Calcutta suffering, "City of Joy" ($3.4 million); the lobotomized Marx Brothers rip-off "Brain Donors" ($500,000); and the long-unreleased Brooke Shields black hole, "Brenda Starr" ($626 per screen).
The ecstatically reviewed Edwardian saga "Howard's End," however, did turnaway business at 12 sites, earning $22,553 per theater. And "Wayne's World" became the first 1992 release to pass $100 million.