'Amistad' pulls Senator to top

In Brief

January 10, 1998|By Ann Hornaday

The Senator was the highest-grossing theater in the country showing "Amistad" last weekend. More than 3,500 filmgoers attended the art deco landmark to see Steven Spielberg's account of a 19th-century slave ship uprising and subsequent court fights.

Coming in second was the Sony Lincoln Square theater in Manhattan, regularly one of the top-grossing theaters in the country.

Tom Kiefaber, who owns the Senator, attributed part of the theater's success to the Xaala Mainama African Arts Ensemble, a drumming troupe that has been performing before some screenings on weekends. "On Saturday night we had a few hundred people on their feet, hands in the air, all races and genders," he said. "They even started a conga line down the aisle."

"Amistad," which stars Djimon Hounsou, Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman, is playing in five theaters in Baltimore, "and every one of those runs is doing extremely well," said Joe Saladino, a distribution representative with DreamWorks Pictures, which is releasing the film. Saladino said that "Amistad" is being shown in 712 theaters nationwide.

Kiefaber said the box office performance this weekend, "after the big holiday push," will decide if he plays "Amistad" after Jan. 16.

Pub Date: 1/10/98

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