Audiences were eager for a second helping of horny teens this weekend, as American Pie 2 opened with an estimated $45.1 million, more than twice as nice a number as the original Pie's 1999 opening of $18.7 million.
American Pie 2 became Universal's fourth consecutive film to open with more than $40 million (after The Mummy Returns, The Fast and the Furious, and Jurassic Park III).
The smutty sequel also snagged the record of best opening for an R-rated comedy and second-best August opening.
While reviews of the sequel were lukewarm at best, audiences ate up the continued adventures of hormone-addled teens Jim (Jason Biggs), Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth), Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), and Oz (Chris Klein), and, of course, Jim's dad (Eugene Levy).
The Others Draws Sixth Sense Comparisons Of the other new openings, the spooky Nicole Kidman starrer The Others debuted in fourth place with $13.7 million, despite playing on just 1,678 screens nationwide. Both it and the low-budget indie Session 9, which opened in limited release, were positioned in the August sleeper spot carved out by 1999 box-office smashes The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project.
Indeed, the low-key The Others has been favorably compared to The Sixth Sense and boasts a similar "gotcha" trick ending, and some critics are hailing Session 9 as the first low-budget horror film to properly duplicate the chills provoked by the out-of-nowhere Blair Witch phenomenon. Session 9, which stars David Caruso, opened out of the top 20.
Osmosis Jones Oozes Into Seventh Also new this weekend was Osmosis Jones, which combines live-action sequences — directed by There's Something About Mary's Peter and Bobby Farrelly — and animation to tell the story of the hapless Frank (Bill Murray) who becomes host to a nasty virus (voiced by Laurence Fishburne). The PG-rated Warner Bros. film took in a mere $5.6 million, settling for seventh place.
Last week's No. 1 film, Rush Hour 2, fell 53 percent to place second with $31.5 million. The take for the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker buddy action comedy now stands at $131.8 million. This weekend, it became the 11th film released in 2001 to pass the $100 million mark.
Holding steady in third place was the makeover fable The Princess Diaries, which earned $14.1 million to bring its two-week total to nearly $52 million.
Dropping from second to fifth place was Planet of the Apes, which drummed up $13.3 million for a cumulative three-week total of $148.7 million.
The Top 10 films for Aug. 10-12: American Pie 2, $45.1 million Rush Hour 2, $31.5 million The Princess Diaries, $14.1 million The Others, $13.7 million Planet of the Apes, $13.3 million Jurassic Park III , $7.3 million Osmosis Jones, $5.6 million America's Sweethearts , $4.6 million Legally Blonde, $3.8 million Original Sin, $3 million Final figures will be released Monday.