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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 06:43 GMT 07:43 UK
Pie sequel storms US box office
American Pie 2
American Pie 2: Best weekend for an R-rated comedy
American Pie 2 has stormed to the top of America's box office charts, taking $45.1m (32m) - the best ever opening performance by an R-rated comedy.

The film has taken the number one spot despite its R-rating, which restricts access for under-17s unless they are accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.

US box office top five
American Pie 2
Rush Hour 2
The Pricess Diaries
The Others
Planet Of The Apes

Last weekend's top film, Rush Hour 2, slipped to number two with a take of $31.5m (22m) - but in its first 10 days the film has almost matched the $141m (99m) that Rush Hour took in its whole cinema run.

Overall, box office revenues remained healthy - although they traditionally wane during the late summer.

The total revenues of the top 12 films were up by half on the same weekend in 2000.

Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office trackers Exhibitor Relations, said: "This is the strongest home stretch of a summer I've ever seen.

"I've never seen so many big films one after the next in the dog days of late July and August."

Succesful start

Another strong performer was Nicole Kidman's ghost story The Others, which came in at number four after taking $13.7m (10m).

American Pie
Levy and Biggs return in the Pie sequel
The successful start for American Pie 2 - which more than doubled the original movie's first weekend take in July 1999 - is seen as a sign of how successful film sequels can be.

Universal studios' head of distribution, Nikki Rocco, said: "Sequels tend to open very big right now - and we're making better sequels these days."

American Pie 2 has reunited Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari and the rest of the original cast for a second summer of what many critics regard as crude sexual humour.

Besides winning the best ever opening ever for an R-rated comedy - ahead of Scary Movie - American Pie 2 also had the second best ever opening ever for any R-rated movie, behind Hannibal.

See also:

06 Aug 01 | Film
Rush Hour 2 rumbles to top
10 Aug 01 | Film
Pie sequel tests US censors
08 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Cheap frills in Hollywood
20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
US rates Billy with Exorcist
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