Same Old Stars

Once again, cinema success is spelled p-r-e-d-i-c-t-a-b-l-e

CRITICS GROUSE ABOUT HOLLYWOOD'S LOVE OF THE tried and true, but ultimately that's just what the audience wants. Proof: this holiday season's movie- attendance figures. The big disappointments were all thematically adventurous: Leap of Faith (Steve Martin as an evangelist), Hoffa (Jack Nicholson as a labor leader), Malcolm X (Denzel Washington as a civil rights activist) and Toys (Robin Williams as . . . whatever he was).

Hits: Aladdin (the only animated offering in the pack, grabbing $114 million), A Few Good Men (Tom Cruise=$55 million), The Bodyguard (Kevin Costner=$88 million, despite intense critical pummeling) and Home Alone 2, the failure-proof...

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