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WEEKEND BOXOFFICE REPORT: 'American Pie 2' Stays Hot for Third Consecutive Week; 'Silent Bob' Speaks Up at No. 3

27 Aug, 2001 By: Staff Reporter

Universal's American Pie 2 maintained its place on the top rack at the box office for a third consecutive weekend as the R-rated comedy served up an estimated $12.8 million, followed by New Line's Rush Hour 2 in the second spot with an estimated $11.4 million. The two sequels easily fended off another round of predominantly weak challenges at the box office -- from five wide releases -- to maintain their relative positions.

Pie 2 becomes only the third film this year to hold the top spot for three consecutive weekends -- MGM's Hannibal and Dimension's Spy Kids were the others. Pie 2 dropped 39% during its third weekend and has taken in an estimated $109.2 million to date, becoming the 10th film released this year to surpass the $100 million mark.

Rush 2 is closing in on the $200 million mark as the action-comedy starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan and helmed by Brett Ratner has brought in an estimated $183.3 million.

Dimension's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back finished the weekend in the third slot as the film debuted with an estimated $11.1 million, the best opening among the frame's new arrivals. The Kevin Smith-directed comedy appeared destined to finish stronger as it had the biggest Friday gross among the weekend's top films -- probably owing to big first-day attendance by the character duo's fan base -- but fell off Saturday.

Dimension's The Others continued to play strongly and held the fourth slot for a third consecutive weekend, grossing an estimated $8.6 million and slipping a scant 21% as the distributor added 283 theaters to the frightfest's run. The NicoleKidman starrer has scared up an estimated $46.2 million to date.

Paramount's Rat Race moved into the fifth slot with an estimated $8.3 million, down a slim 29% from its debut. The Jerry Zucker-directed comedy has taken in about $25.6 million.

Warner Bros.' Summer Catch, a romantic comedy starring Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jessica Biel, debuted in the sixth spot as it caught a modest estimate of $7.5 million. The PG-13 rated baseball-set film marks the directorial debut of MichaelTollin.

The weekend's other wide releases barely registered a blip on the box office radar. Sony's John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars landed in the ninth slot with a bleak estimate of $3.8 million, and Buena Vista's Bubble Boy was deflated outsidethe Golden Dozen with a dismal $2 million opening.

The latest film from Woody Allen, DreamWorks' The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, debuted in a moderately wide 903 theaters and grossed an estimated $2.5 million to place 11th. The comedy, met with mixed reviews, landed within therange of expectations, the distributor said.

Despite the weekend's lackluster overall showing at the box office, the season's cume to date has surpassed last summer's total cume -- with two weeks remaining in this year's frame. During the week ending Aug. 23, national box office for the summer reached $2.79 billion, topping last summer's tally for the entire season, $2.75 billion. With the latest weekend's box office included, this summer's total also has surpassed that of the record summer of 1999, which tallied $2.86 billion.

On a week-to-week basis, this summer's box office is ahead of last year's comparable period by 12%, while estimatedadmissions hold an 8% advantage on last summer after 13 weeks. Summer 2001 is slightly behind summer 1999 in total estimated admissions, but the difference is less than 1%; the next two weeks will tell the tale.

There was lively action in the limited-release arena as IDP's Tortilla Soup debuted in 202 locations and grossed an estimated $670,640. The Samuel Goldwyn film starring Hector Elizondo and Raquel Welch and helmed by Maria Ripoll averaged $3,320 per theater and expands to New York next weekend.

Fox Searchlight's The Deep End continued to play solidly as it added 150 theaters and grossed an estimated $1.2 million during its third weekend. The well-reviewed film was in 208 locations and averaged $5,769 per theater, bringing its cumeto about $2.6 million. The crime thriller adds about 50 locations next weekend.

United Artists' Ghost World conjured up an estimated $368,000 from 64 locations during its sixth weekend, averaging $5,750 per theater. The comedy-drama has brought home an estimated $2.5 million to date and adds 15 markets Friday, which should bring its theater count to about 85.

The estimated total for the weekend's Golden Dozen is $82.4 million, up nearly 10% from the aggregate for the top 12 films during last year's comparable frame. The top films then were Universal's Bring It On with $17.4 million and Warner Bros.' The Art of War with $10.4 million. The Hollywood Reporter projects the total for all films this weekend in the mid-to high-$90 million range.

During the week ending Aug. 23, national box office rose a stellar 21% from the comparable seven-day period a year earlier ($176.8 million vs. $146.3 million). The year-to-date boxoffice total holds a 10% advantage on the comparable 2000 figure, and estimated admissions are running 5% ahead of last year's pace.

Other films in the weekend's top 10 were Buena Vista's The Princess Diaries in seventh place with an estimated $6.7 million, moving its estimated cume to a princely $82.5 million.

Universal's Captain Corelli's Mandolin dropped 46% during its sophomore frame, taking in an estimated $3.9 million toplace eighth and moving its total to about $14 million.

Fox's Planet of the Apes took the 10th slot with an estimated $3.5 million, upping its cume to date to an estimated $167.9 million.

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