“Pie” takes big slice of box office

American Pie 2 confounded many analysts over the weekend by taking in $45.1 million in ticket sales despite an R rating that many theaters are meticulously enforcing. Analysts had predicted that the rating would prevent the core teen audience for the original film from seeing the sequel and thereby depress revenue. As it was, the film debuted as the most profitable debut ever for an R-rated comedy. [Still, analysts suspected that teens got in anyway. In an interview with Bloomberg News, industry analyst Art Rockwell remarked that the movie “hit its demographic perfectly. … It’s not a reviewer’s film, but it’s what the teen audience wanted to see.”] Disney’s ghost movie The Others debuted with an all-right $14.1 million for fourth place, while Warner’s Osmosis Jones tanked with $5.3 million for seventh place. Rush Hour 2, last week’s winner, followed recent trends as it lost more than half its opening-week gate, dropping to second place with $33.1 million. Sales for the top 12 films totaled $148.5 million, up 54 percent from the same weekend last year.

The top 10 films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Exhibitor Relations (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. American Pie 2, Universal, $45,117,985, (New); 2. Rush Hour 2, New Line, $33,117,312, ($133,525,381); 3. The Princess Diaries, Disney, $14,216,447, ($52,092,481); 4. The Others, Miramax/Dimension, $14,089,952, (New); 5. Planet of the Apes, 20th Century Fox, $13,302,881, ($148,717,365); 6. Jurassic Park III, Universal, $7,524,975, ($160,396,215); 7. Osmosis Jones, Warner Bros., $5,271,248, (New); 8. America’s Sweethearts, Sony, $4,405,836, ($83,247,240); 9. Legally Blonde, MGM, $3,774,114, ($78,696,785); 10. Original Sin, MGM, $3,075,072, ($12,517,699).