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`CHRISTMAS VACATION’ TOPS HOLIDAY BOX-OFFICE SALES

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"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," the Chevy Chase comedy of blunders, was the nation's favorite film at the holiday box-office, leading all other movies for the third week in a row.

Christmas and cold weather kept overall movie business down, according to figures released by Exhibitor Relations Inc. But the year-end box office will still set an all-time record in excess of $5 billion, Exhibitor Relations said."Christmas Vacation" grossed $7 million over the four-day weekend to outperform the new adventure movie "Tango & Cash." The latter film, pairing Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone as cops who don't always see eye-to-eye, collected $6.6 million.

In third place, with $5.5 million, was the black divorce comedy "The War of the Roses," featuring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as the feuding couple. It was followed in fourth by "Back to the Future Part II," with Michael J. Fox, on revenues of $4.1 million.

"Always," director Steven Spielberg's remake of the 1943 film "A Guy Named Joe," opened quietly in fifth place with a gate of $3.7 million.

Director Oliver Stone's "Born on the Fourth of July" opened very strongly in limited release, collecting a per-screen average of $39,964 for a total take of $172,021.

Here are the top movie ticket sales as tallied by Exhibitor Relations: