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Boxoffice-January.10.1953

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— — — — — — — 5 — — Broadway First Runs Remain Strong; 'Sheba/ Earnest' 2nd Week Highs NEW YORK—Despite the bus strike, which affected many parts of Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens, Broadway first runs remained strong in the first full week of 1953. mainly because of the top product brought in for the holiday season. All of the big pictures held over, the only new film being the weekly change at the Palace. In one case, "Come Back. Little Sheba." at the Victoria Theatre, business for the second week equaled the high for the first with the designation of Shirley Booth's "best female performance" of 1952 by the New York Film Critics aiding in the .sensational draw. "The Importance of Being Earnest" actually surpassed the record opening week gross in its second week at the Baronet Theatre, east side art house. Bo'.h theatres had long waiting lines outside each evening during the week. The Radio City Music Hall had another strong week, its fifth, for "Million Dollar Mermaid" and the annual Nativity stage pageant. The picture started a sixth week January 8 but the Christmas stage show was umG BILL lAONSTER APf STRIKES WHITE = ponco WASHINGTON DC. MEMPHIS NEW ORLEANS dropped. "Stars and Stripes Forever" and the Ice-Colorama stage show had an excellent second week at the Roxy, where the third week started January 5. "Against All Flags" and Johnnie Ray on the stage held up exceptionally well at the Capitol, where it started a third week January 7. "April in Paris" and the Paramount stage show also did well and started a third week January 7. "Hans Christian Andersen" also held up exceptionally well in its sixth week at both the Criterion on Broadway and the Paris, ea-st side art theatre, and "This Is cinerama" remained at absolute capacity in the 14th week of two-a-day at the Broadway Theatre, where tickets are now- selling into March. Both "My Cousin Rachel" and "Ruby Gentry" held up well in second weeks at the Rivoli and Mayfair theatres, respectively, and "The Member of the Wedding" had a good opening week at the Sutton. "Forbidden Games," which was chosen the best foreign film of 1952 by the New York FUm Critics, had a strong fourth week at the Little Carnegie. (Average Is 100) Astor Limelight (UA), 1 I f h wk,, continuous .... 1 25 Baronet The Importance ot Being Earnest (U-l), 2nd wk 160 Beekmon Castle in the Air (Stratford) 110 Broadway This Is Cineroma (Cinerama), 14th wk., reserved seats 1 50 Capitol Against All Flags (U-l), Johnnie Ray on stoge, 2nd wk 150 Cinema Verdi The Man With the Gray Glove (IFE) no Criterion Hons Christion Andersen (RKO), 6th wk 150 Fine Arts The Promoter (U-l), 10th wk 125 Globe— Eight Iron Men (Col) 1 20 Guild Leonardo do Vinci (Picture), 7th wk 110 Little Carnegie Forbidden Games (Times), 4th wk. 1 35 Loew's State BJockbeard, the Pirate (RKO), 2rid wk 125 Mayfair Ruby Gentry (20th-Fox), 2nd wk 125 Normandie No Time for Flowers (RKO), 2nd wk..ll5 Palace The Savage (Paro), plus vaudeville .... 1 1 Paramount April in Paris (WB), plus stage show, 2nd wk 140 Pans Hans Christian Andersen (RKO), 6th wk...l50 Radio City Music Holl Million Dollor Mermaid (MGM), Rivoh My plus Christmas Cousin stage Rachel show, (20th-Fox), 5th wk 2nd 150 wk. . . 1 30 ice Sutton stoge show, 2nd wk The Member of the Wedding (Col) Roxy Stars and Stripes Forever [20th-Fox), plus 160 120 Trons-Lux 52nd Street O. Henry's (20th-Fox), 1 2th wk Full House 1 05 Trons-Lux 60th Street Limelight (UA), 11th wk., reserved seats 110 Victoria Come Bock, Little Sheba (Para), 2nd wk 190 World Two Cenh Worth of Hope (Times), 3rd wk 110 'Bwana Devil' Scores 260 To Pace Philadelphia PHILADELPHIA—The new year opened with a bang at the first run situations with almost all situations showing better than average grosses. Percentagewise "Limelight" took top honors with 250 at the World. Among the bigger houses "April in Paris" was the gold ribbon winner with 145 at the Mastbaum. "Bwana Devil," special third-dimensional effect picture, was a sensation at the Aldine with 260. Aldine Bwono Devil Oboler), 2nd wk 260 Arcadia Plymouth Adventure (MGM), 2nd wk...I20 Boyd My Cousin Rachel (20th-Fox), 2nd wk 80 Earic Lost Troin From Bombay (Col), plus stage show 85 Fox Stars ond Stripes Forever (20th-Fox) 105 Goldmon The I Don't Core Girl (20th-Fox), 2nd wk 75 Mastbaum April in Paris :WB) 145 Midtown The Snows of Kilimanjaro (20th-Fox), 12th wk 115 Randolph Million Dollor Mermaid (MGM), 2nd wk 105 Stanley Rood to Bali (Para) 80 Stanton Hongmon's Knot (Col) 65 Studio The Promoter (U-l) 135 Trons-Lux Breaking the Sound Barrier (UA), 2nd wk 160 World Limelight (UA), 2nd wk. 250 Baltimore Grosses Spurt Alter Crimp by Sleet BALTIMORE—New Year's week found the downtown hou-ses doing very weU after getting a bad weather break on the New Year's eve openings. Rain, snow and sleet put a crimp in the midnight shows by keeping people at home, however, on New Year's day the registers were kept busy and it seemed like old times. Century The Prisoner of Zenda (MGM) 124 Keith's Rood to Bolt (Paro) 1 30 Town Above and Beyond (MGM) 115 Little The Four Poster (Col) 1 08 Mayfair Hangman's Knot (Col) I 02 Playhouse The Promoter (U-l), 2nd wk 114 Stanley April in Paris (WB) 121 New—Stars and Stripes Forever (20th-Fox), 2nd wk 104 'Mermaid' Scores 180% In Opening at Buffalo BUFFALO— Shea's Buffalo led the march back to better business last week with a terrific 180 per cent on "Million Dollar Mermaid." The SRO sign was put out four days in succession. Buffolo Million Dollar Mermaid (MGM) 180 Center April in Paris (WB), 2nd wk 100 Cinemo The Promoter (U-l), 3rd wk 95 Century Blockbeord the Pirate (RKO) 1 40 Lofoyette Agoinst All Flogs (U-l) 95 Paramount Rood to Bali (Para), 2nd wk 120 Teck— The Clown (MGM), 2nd d. t. wk 150 'Tale of Five Women' Set For Trans-Lux 60th St. NEW YORK—"A Tale of Five Women," produced by Alexander Paal in London, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Berlin, will open at the Trans-Lux 60th Theatre January 15 following a 12-week reserved-seat engagement of Charles Chaplin's "Limelight." "Five Women," which stars Bonar Colleano, will play at continuous run. The picture was nationally released by United Artists in March 1952. "Moulin Rouge," produced by Jose Ferrer in Paris and London, has been booked by United Artists for the Capitol Theatre in February, following "Androcles and the Lion," which will open January 14. RKO Kaye In-Person Show Selling 8 Weeks Ahead NEW YORK—RKO Tlieatres had placed tickets on sale eight weeks in advance for the Danny Kaye "in person" show, which will open at the Palace Theatre Sunday evening. January 18. More than $250,000 has been taken in by mail orders, which are keeping three boxoffice treasurers busy, and from the continuous window sale. U-I's "The Redhead From Wyoming" and eight acts of vaudeville opened Thursday (8) as the final stage-screen bill before the Palace closes down for three days before the Kaye opening. MGM Sales Heads Discuss Outlook for Business CHICAGO—MGM home office and field sales executives held a three-day get-together here starting Thursday iBi and discussed the business outlook in general. Charles M. Reagan, general sales manager, presided. Also from the home office were Edward M. Saunders, assistant sales manager, and John P. Byrne, eastern sales manager 44 BoxorncE January 10, 1953

. . . William . . Ben . . . Carl . . Bert NYC Tax on Negatives Threatens Industry NEW YORK—The distributors and film laboratories here are preparing to resist a move oil the part of the city government, which is having plenty of budget trouble, to apply the local 3 per cent sales tax to film negatives shipped here as well as to film rentals. The proposed tax would be on a producer's .share of the gro.ss take of a film when contracts call for the producer to deliver the negative to the distributor. In other cases, a compensating tax at the same rate would be levied on the negative cost. Both would be retroactive to 1949. but for the earlier years the rate would be 2 per cent. A.ssessments have already been levied against 20th Century-Fox Movietone and Lopert Films, and city auditors are exploring the books of other majors. MGM and Republic would escape the levy because they do not ship negatives here. The city has called a hearing on the Movietone levy for Monday (12 1. A stiff defense will be put up by the industry. Among the points that will be made is that the levy would run .so high that the distributors would be obliged to have prints prepared elsewhere, and that thousands in the local laboratories would be out of jobs. The city's move is seen as the forerunner to similar taxation in the television field and, possibly, of advertising agencies making prints here. Levine, Schwartz Head FJP Exhibitor Group NEW YORK—Martin Levine. Brandt Theatres, and Leslie Schwartz, Century Theatres, have been named co-chairmen of the exhibitors committee of the amusement division of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies by Barney Balaban, Simon H. Fabian and Emanuel Frisch, joint heads of the industry's current drive on behalf of the Federation's 116 hospitals and social service agencies. Assisting Levine and Schwartz are Max M. Cohen. Cinema Circuit Corp.: Leo Brecher, Leo Brecher Tlieatre Enterprises: J. Joshua Goldberg, Raybond Theatres: Walter Reade jr.. Walter Reade Theatres: Harold Rinzler, Randforce Amusement Corp.: Julius Sanders. Sanders Theatres; Spyros Skouras jr.. Skouras Theatres, Inc.: Solomon Strausberg, Interboro Circuit, and Morton Sunshine, Independent Theatre Owners of America. Paramount to Build Studio For TV Film Producing NEW YORK—Paramount is planning to build a studio for television film producing on the property adjacent to the film plant. While new facilities are being provided, video production will be done in the present studio by its subsidiary. Paramount Television Productions. Tent 35 to Give Luncheon Jan. 27 NEW YORK—Variety Tent 35 will stage a luncheon in the Piccadilly hotel January 27 to celebrate the opening of new clubrooms in the penthouse of the hotel. The new quarters will be ready for showing January 15. The tent has been without a meeting place for several months. Spyros P. Skouras Welcomed Back Film industry leaders welcomed Spyros P. Skouras back from a world tour at a dinner in the Metropolitan club in New York. Skouras reviewed economic conditions and the film outlook in 26 countries. In the top photo S. H. Fabian. Harry Brandt, Leonard Goldenson and Al Lichtman are shown listening to a speech by Skouras. The bottom group, left to right, are Joseph Moskowitz. W. C. Michael, Nicholas M. Schenck, Skouras and Charles C. Moskowitz. BROADWAY rjavid Lewis, regional director of Continental Europe for Loew's International Corp.. left January 6 for Culver City, where he will confer with MGM studio executives and view new product Clay V. Hake. Paramount managing . . . director for Australia and New Zealand, has returned to the coast from a home office visit and will fly back to Sydney . Goetz, head of MGM's British production, flew back to London January 6 after a two-week visit in Hollywood with Dore Schary and other MGM executives . . . H. M. Richey. MGM exhibitor relations head, , . . is en route to New Orleans, where he will speak at the Allied Theatre Owners of the Gulf States convention January 13, 14 Nat Holt, who completed "Pony Elxpress" for Paramount release, also went back to Hollywood after several days of home office conferences with company heads and his partner, William Jaffee. Gabriel Pascal, producer of "Androcles and the Lion," got in from Hollywood January 6 to participate in the RKO promotion for the invitation opening at the Capitol Theatre January 14. He will also be guest star on four radio and TV .shows . . . Mark Robson, who directed "Retiu-n to Paradise" for United Artists release, spent a week in New- York meeting with UA executives on release plans and left for England Saturday ilOi H. Wright, producer of MGM's "The Naked Spur" and "The Clown," went back to Hollywood January 7 after two weeks in New York doing advance publicity on the David E. Rose, who produced pictures . . . "Sea Devils" for RKO in England, came in from Hollywood January 8 for meetings on sales and promotion and left for England Saturday (10) to approve the final version of the film. Milton Overman, veteran publicist, joined the RKO exploitation staff under Leon Brandt, manager, and has gone to Washington to assist Allen Hodshii-e and Hank Howard in completing arrangements for the gala opening of "Never Wave at a WAC" at the Keith Theatre January 28 . . . Ted Toddy, president of Toddy Pictures, Atlanta, is visiting in New York . Friedlob, producer of "The Star" for 20th Century-Fox release, is in New York for meetings with Al Lichtman and Charles Einfeld on distribution plans for the Bette Davis picture Ennis, cutter on MGM's "Battle Circus," is back on the coast after a brief New York visit. Paramount Sales Meeting Scheduled in New York NEW YORK—Paramount's sales executives have been summoned by A. W. Schwalberg, vice-president of Paramount Film Distributing Corp., to a week-long conference at the Hotel Plaza starting January 26. Ideas and suggestions gathered by Schwalberg. E. K. "Ted" O'Shea, Jerry Pickman and others will be discussed. Division managers, their assistants, branch managers and home office executives will attend. Polio sufferers look to you. Drop March of Dimes slugs info your advertising for the March of Dimes drive—January 2-31. BOXOFFICE :: January 10, 1953 45