Disappointing debuts by ''Ghosts of Mars'' and ''Summer Catch'' can't catch ''Pie''

By Dave Karger
Updated August 28, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

American Pie 2

  • Movie

The late-summer box office streak of 2001 is officially…over. Five big-studio debuts couldn’t shake ”American Pie 2” and ”Rush Hour 2” from their top spots, as the comedy sequels ruled multiplexes for the third week in a row.

Grossing another estimated $12.8 million, ”AP2” became the first movie this summer to top the box office charts for three weeks, and only the third film, after this winter’s ”Hannibal” and ”Spy Kids,” to accomplish that feat this year. Still, ”AP2”’s weekend take does rank as the lowest No. 1 performance since the Sylvester Stallone racing thriller ”Driven,” which earned $12.2 million last April. ”Rush Hour 2,” meanwhile, made another $11.4 million, bringing its total to $183.3 million, on its way to becoming the third film this year to top $200 million, after ”Shrek” and ”The Mummy Returns.”

After beginning the weekend as the No. 1 film on Friday, ahead of ”AP2” and ”RH2,” Kevin Smith’s new comedy ”Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” saw a dip in ticket sales, bringing its weekend total to a so-so $11.1 million, landing the cameo-filled flick in third place. While it does make ”Jay” Smith’s best opening to date — his last comedy, ”Dogma,” earned $8.7 million in 1999 — ”Jay” did open in 2,765 theaters, more than twice as many as ”Dogma.” Smith’s fan base may be loyal, but it’s simply not that large.

Two returning entries snagged the fourth and fifth slots by holding on nicely compared to last week. ”The Others,” starring Nicole Kidman, dropped a mere 21 percent with $8.6 million, while the slapstick comedy ”Rat Race” fell an impressive 29 percent to $8.3 million.

The news was bad, however, for the weekend’s four other new films. The horribly reviewed Freddie Prinze, Jr., baseball flick ”Summer Catch” could only score a sixth-place opening with $7.5 million, while the Ice Cube sci-fi drama ”John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars” landed in ninth with $3.8 million. Woody Allen’s latest comedy, ”The Curse of the Jade Scorpion,” fell short of the top 10 with $2.5 million (by comparison, his last film, ”Small Time Crooks,” debuted with $3.9 million). But nothing performed as embarrassingly as the silly (and, to some, offensive) comedy ”Bubble Boy,” which, thanks to a horrendous $1,246 per-theater average, failed to crack the top 12 with $2 million. Someone release an Oscar contender…quick!

See the latest Box Office Chart

Look at movie grades from readers and critics — and rate some yourself

Episode Recaps

Read EW’s movie reviews

American Pie 2

  • Movie
  • R
  • 104 minutes