''Signs'' tops new movies at the box office. The Mel Gibson thriller comes back to beat out the competition

By Dave Karger
Updated August 23, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
Signs: Frank Masi

Blue Crush

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  • Movie
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For one of the slowest movie-going periods of the year, a lot certainly happened at the box office this weekend; it just had nothing to do with any of the new movies.

After two weeks at No. 2, Mel Gibson’s crop-circle thriller ”Signs” reclaimed the top spot, grossing $14.4 million, according to studio estimates, bringing its four-week total to a strong $173.2 million. ”Signs” is the first film to reach the pinnacle of the box office chart two separate times since ”Stuart Little” pulled off the same feat in December 1999. Positive word of mouth is certainly continuing to help ”Signs,” as it slipped only 26 percent from last weekend.

That pushed Vin Diesel’s spy flick ”XXX” back to second place with $13.7 million in its third weekend. ”XXX” dropped 38 percent, obviously a bigger decline than ”Signs” but not nearly as bad as its 50 percent plummet last week. (Chalk it up to the poor competition among the weekend’s new films.) After 17 days, ”XXX” has crossed the $100 million mark and now stands at $106.7 million.

”Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams” actually moved up a spot to No. 3 in its third weekend, earning another $7.8 million and bringing its total to a fair $58.5 million. At this rate, the sequel will have a tough time matching the $103 million the original grossed last year. But perhaps the most impressive feat this weekend belongs to ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” which placed fourth with $7.6 million, up 33 percent from last week thanks to 265 additional theaters. The word-of-mouth phenomenon of the summer has finally reached the top five in its 18th week of release.

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Rounding out the top five was the surfer film ”Blue Crush,” which fell a horrible 55 percent in its second weekend to $6.4 million. But at least it fared better than all three of the weekend’s new releases. Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley could only manage a $6 million debut to place sixth with their lame comedy ”Serving Sara,” while Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes rung up $4.7 million with their boxing drama ”Undisputed,” which came in eighth. And the big loser of the weekend: Al Pacino, whose showbiz satire ”Simone” debuted in ninth place with only $4.1 million. Next time, perhaps Pacino should ditch the digital costars for some real actors.

Blue Crush

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  • Movie
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mpaa
  • PG-13
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  • 103 minutes
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