‘Superbad’ Triumphs Again At Box Office; ‘Bourne’ Keeps Tight Grip On #2

Threequels make this the highest-grossing summer ever, while 'Nanny Diaries' and 'September Dawn' are typical August flops.

The Box Office Top Five

#1 “Superbad” ($18 million)
#2 “The Bourne Ultimatum” ($12.4 million)
#3 “Rush Hour 3″ ($12.3 million)
#4 “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” ($10.1 million)
#5 “War” ($10 million)

It’s been the “Summer of the Pencil,” with each weekend touting a new record-breaking performance (“It’s the highest-grossing opening weekend for a non-sequel, non-comic book adaptation!”), but as the dog days of summer give way to some plain old dogs at the multiplex, it’s time to step back and recognize the biggest winner at this year’s summer box office — which is, of course, the summer box office itself.

With four movies smashing their way past $300 million and three more on their way to scoring $200 million-plus, the summer box office climbed over $4 billion dollars for the first time in history, breaking the all-time record of $3.95 billion set in 2004. That’s not only one heck of a lot of Red Vines, that’s 10 percent higher than last year’s mark. It helps, of course, when you have a “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, a “Spider-Man” flick, and a “Shrek” extravaganza to start off the season (all opened within three weeks of each other in May), but equally important, it seems, is who’s bringing up the rear.

With $18 million and a second first-place finish, “Superbad” joined “Pirates” and “Spidey” as the only three movies to win back-to-back weekends this summer. With a new total of nearly $70 million dollars, the flick will soon join über-producer Judd Apatow’s “40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up” as certified $100 million hits.

Holding strong in its fourth week, meanwhile, was “The Bourne Ultimatum,” in second place with a hefty $12.4 million. Not only is the film the highest grossing in the popular series, it’s a sure bet to cross $200 million by next weekend — around the same time, incidentally, that “Ratatouille” will cross the magical line as well. How’s this for record breaking? “Bourne” and “Ratatouille” will be the sixth and seventh films of the summer to hit that mark.

While the disappointing “Rush Hour 3″ takes third place with $12.3 million (it’ll wind up earning about half as much as “Rush Hour 2″), the surprising “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” soared to a fourth-place finish of $10.1 million. While that total is impressive considering the film has no major stars or big action hooks, it further illustrates how out of step America sometimes is with the rest of the world. “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” has already racked up nearly $200 million worldwide.

Rounding out the weekend: The less said about “War,” “The Nanny Diaries,” “September Dawn” and “Resurrecting the Champ” the better. Typical of late-summer releases, all four new movies bombed.

How’d We Do?

It was like a game of “The Price Is Right” here last week, with each of our movie writers taking the previous prediction and adding the minimum amount to it, hoping that “Superbad” would go over their competitor’s guess (see “‘Superbad’ Looks For Another Super-Size Weekend, In Projection Booth” ). Too bad for both of them. It scored only $18 million in its second week, making the original, smallest guess the winner. By correctly predicting “Superbad” would make close to $20 million, and without having to change her guess, “Feast of Love” star Radha Mitchell takes home our crown, knotting the contest at one win apiece.

Prognosticator (Weeks Won)

Josh Horowitz, MTV Movies editor (1)
Larry Carroll, MTV News writer (1)
Celebrity guest (1)

Next Week

With the end of summer comes the start of fall, and that can mean only one thing in this day and age: We’re already going to have to suffer through ads for “Halloween.” The Rob Zombie-directed remake opens next weekend. Also opening is “Balls of Fury,” starring the hilarious Dan Fogler; “The Nines,” starring the hilarious Ryan Reynolds; and “Death Sentence,” starring the hilarious Kevin Bacon. The latter two flicks aren’t comedies, of course, we just think Reynolds and Bacon are pretty funny.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Superbad”, “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “Halloween.”

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