American Pie 2, the sequel to 1999's hit gross-out comedy, took the UK box office by storm at the weekend taking a massive $8m (£5.5m) from 420 sites, including previews of $1,111,103 (£765,550) from 376 sites, for an impressive site average of $19,036. Accounting for well over 50% of the weekend's total box office the film scored the fourth biggest opening of the year after Hannibal ($9.3m), The Mummy Returns ($8.6m) and Bridget Jones's Diary ($8.3m), and ahead of Planet Of The Apes ($7.9m).
The sequel more than doubled the opening three-day takings of its predecessor which opened on October 8 1999 to gross $3m (£2.1m) from 338 sites, which included previews of $265,598. American Pie went on to record a total gross of $20.3m (£14m) in the UK, and launched the careers of many young stars including Seann William Scott (Evolution, Road Trip), Shannon Elizabeth (Scary Movie, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back), Mena Suvari (American Beauty, The Musketeer) and Jason Biggs (Loser, Saving Silverman).
Also opening well was Warner Bros limited release of The Pledge. Directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson, who also took the lead in Penn's last directorial effort, 1995's The Crossing Guard, the film took a very strong $206,241 (£142,100) from just 34 sites. Showing a resounding $6,066 site average The Pledge claimed the number 11 position in the chart. Also making the chart, at number 13, was BVI's Atlantis: The Lost Empire despite having only opened on 40 sites in Scotland. The animated film's three-day take of $115,668, alongside the $437,392 from 400 sites it took in previews nationwide, suggests it should perform well when it opens across the country on Friday 19 Oct.
Still fairly unshakeable 20th Century Fox's musical hit Moulin Rouge passed the $20m mark in the UK at the weekend while dropping a paltry 19% from the previous weekend. Now in its sixth week on release Baz Luhrmann's film placed second and shows little sign of waning so far.
Also maintaining a strong performance was Momentum Pictures' much talked about French release Amelie. Holding fifth position in its second weekend, the romantic comedy dropped off just 7% from its opening three-day figure, 15% from the opening including previews. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's latest has recorded a 10-day total of $2m (£1.4m) making it the fifth most successful foreign-language release of all-time in the territory.
Rounding out the top five were Enigma, holding third place with $768,832 and dropping just 25% from the previous weekend, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence at four with $748,557.