US box office report: 17-19 August 2007

The weekend that Superbad gave Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow another hit has also seen Rush Hour 3 in trouble, and The Invasion - starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig - perhaps become the flop of the year...

Superbad: another sleeper comedy hit for Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow

And so it came to pass that in a summer dominated by expensive threequels, sequels and effects movies, it was Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen who snuck in and stole the show. For the second time this summer, a film with both of their names attached to it has emerged as a solid gold sleeper hit, bringing in strong reviews and a first weekend take in the $30m field, set against a very modest budget.

First time round they did it with Knocked Up, which has brought in over $140m for Universal while their costly other comedy, Evan Almighty, has yet to hit $100m in spite of its massive budget.

Superbad, their latest, has the potential to do even better, thanks to its first place opening at the US box office over the weekend, with a $31.2m take. Produced by Apatow, and written by and starring Rogen, it’s got a clear run for the next few weeks and may give the pair another $100m sleeper hit.

Costing a lot more and dropping to second is Rush Hour 3, with $21.8m in its second weekend for a running total of $88m. Given the cost of the film, and the fact that it’s running some way behind Rush Hour 2 (around $50m behind!), it means a fourth instalment is now unlikely.

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A fourth instalment of the Jason Bourne saga is far more likely though: bringing in third is The Bourne Ultimatum, with another $18.9m in the kitty for a $163m running score. Fourth place went to The Simpsons Movie, now up to $165m after a weekend that brought in another $6.6m.

In fifth place though is a bona fide flop, the trouble pseudo-remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, with at least three directors attached through its production, The Invasion opened to just $6m. It only just inched ahead of another underperformer, fantasy movie Stardust which took $5.4m in its second week to total up $19m.

The rest of the chart? Seventh is Hairspray, which has now crossed $100m courtesy of a $4.2m weekend, eighth is Disney comedy Underdog (now up to $31.6m after a $3.6m weekend) ninth is Harry Potter, with another $3.5m taking its gross to $278m, and tenth-place Adam Sandler’s I Know Pronounce You Chuck & Larry made $3.5m too to make $110m in the bank.

Next week? Superbad should have a good run, in spite of the US release of Mr Bean’s Holiday. Jet Li’s latest, WAR, is also out, as is The Nanny Diaries. Exciting stuff.