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''Where's the beef?'' critics carped, but the promise of on-screen sizzle between Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone produced a box office stampede, boosting The Specialist to the top slot. Its $14.32 million opening — narrowly edging ahead of the $14.26 million figure posted by Stallone's previous actioner, Demolition Man, last October — made it the biggest Columbus Day weekend debut ever, and the second-best preholiday fall opener of all time, behind the $30.52 million sucked up by Bram Stoker's Dracula in '92. The Marisa Tomei-Robert Downey Jr. love story Only You set far fewer pulses pounding, opening in third place with a just-okay $5.7 million.

Originally posted Oct 21, 1994 Published in issue #245 Oct 21, 1994 Order article reprints
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