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Losers Take All

Despite some negative reviews, “Rush Hour” and “Urban Legend” are box office hits

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This week’s box office results suggest that lousy reviews don’t matter. “Rush Hour,” which averaged just a C+ from EW’s “Critical Mass” critics, continued to thrive, sticking at No. 1 with an estimated $21.1 million take and bringing its two-week total to $63.9 million. And the slash-o-rama “Urban Legend” finished at No. 3 with $11 million, even though EW gave it a C-. “Clay Pigeons,” the Vince Vaughn-Janeane Garofalo comedy noir that EW graded a D, had a very limited release (in only 19 theaters) but averaged $8,724 per screen, better than “Rush Hour”‘s $7,983 average.

Finishing at No. 2 was Robert De Niro’s “Ronin” (EW gave the film a mediocre B-). “Ronin” grossed $13 million, pleasing its studio, MGM, which is badly in need of a hit. (Its last two releases were the bombs “Dirty Work” and “Disturbing Behavior.”) MGM execs believe “Ronin” should have a profitable run because there isn’t a competing action picture due until Kurt Russell’s “Soldier” on October 23.