Stifler, The Rock Give Moviegoers ‘The Rundown’ At The Box Office

Action-comedy earns an $18.5 million during first weekend out.

The biggest question surrounding Seann William Scott’s latest movie was whether America could handle seeing “Stifler” in an action movie, and over the weekend moviegoers answered with a resounding “yes” by making “The Rundown” #1.

The traditionally comedic Scott’s last attempt at action fare, last year’s “Bulletproof Monk,” was a flop. But together with the Rock — whose last film, “The Scorpion King,” opened at $36 million — Scott was able to pull in an estimated $18.5 million during “The Rundown”‘s first weekend of release. (Click to see “The Rundown” photos. )

An action-comedy jungle adventure, “The Rundown” was shot for a reported $85 million and at various points during the production went under the working titles “Helldorado” and “Welcome to the Jungle” (see “The Rock, Seann William Scott Team Up In ‘Crappy’ Movie” ).

Scott, surely riding high on his first post-”American Pie” #1 debut, has a production deal through Universal and plans to get moving on a remake of a French film called “Gregoire Moulin Vs. Humanity” (see “Seann William Scott Tackling French Film Remake” ).

The Diane Lane romance “Under the Tuscan Sun” debuted at #2 with $9.4 million, while “Duplex,” the weekend’s only other new widely released film, opened poorly. A “Money Pit”-like comedy starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore, “Duplex” took in just $4.4 million to land at #7.

“Underworld,” the previous weekend’s #1, slid to #3 with a $9.4 million haul. Kate Beckinsale’s vampires-versus-werewolves flick has taken in $37 million so far. (Click to see “Underworld” photos. )

The rest of the weekend’s top 10 includes “Secondhand Lions” at #4 with $8.3 million ($23.4 million, two weeks); “The Fighting Temptations” at #5 with $6.4 million ($20.2 million, two weeks); filmmaker Robert Rodriguez’ “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” at #6 with $5.1 million ($49 million, three weeks); “Cold Creek Manor” at #8 with $4.3 million ($14.5 million, two weeks); “Matchstick Men” at #9 with $4.3 million ($30.6 million, three weeks); and director Sophia Coppola’s sweet and haunting Bill Murray vehicle “Lost in Translation” at #10 with $3.5 million. Despite playing in less than 500 theaters (by comparison, “The Rundown” is in more than 3,000), “Lost in Translation” has made nearly $8.5 million in the last three weeks. (Click to see “Lost in Translation” photos. )

David Spade’s “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” just barely missed the top 10, earning another $3 million toward its four-week $20.8 million total. “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” continued to sail as well, taking in $2.4 million to land at #12. The swashbuckling tale, which just happens to be the long critically adored Johnny Depp’s biggest hit, inches closer to the $300 million mark with a 12-week $295.7 million total.