LOS ANGELES – People rushed to theaters to see the buddy cop comedy "Rush Hour 3," making the last of this summer's big budget Hollywood films the top movie at the weekend box office.
The film from New Line Cinema took in $50.2 million according to studio estimates. That was enough to push last week's top film, "The Bourne Ultimatum," into second place with $33.7 million.
"Rush Hour 3" did not do as well as its predecessor, "Rush Hour 2," which took in $67.4 million when it was released in 2001. But it was the sixth "threequel" of the summer to open as the weekend's top film and it ranks as the fourth best August opening of all time.
"We really never felt we were going to get where the second one was," said David Tuckerman, head of distribution for New Line. "The competitive landscape has changed dramatically in the six years since the last film. We figured we'd be in the 50's and that's where we are."
The film faced tough competition from "The Bourne Ultimatum," which crossed the $100 million mark in its second week in theaters.
With "The Simpsons Movie" coming in a strong third with $11.1 million, for a three-week total of $152 million, Hollywood might be looking at its first $4 billion summer.
"We've been riding a wave of momentum that started with "Transformers" in July," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Media By Numbers. "We already stand at $3.6 billion at the box office. The $4 billion summer, once thought an impossibility, is definitely within reach."
The summer movie season runs from the first weekend in May through Labonday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Rush Hour 3," 50.3 million.
2. "The Bourne Ultimatum," $33.7 million.
3. "The Simpsons Movie," $11.1 million.
4. "Stardust," $9 million.
5. "Underdog," $6.5 million.
6. "Hairspray," $6.4 million.
7. "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," $5.9 million.
8. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," $5.4 million.
9. "No Reservations," $3.9 million.
10. "Daddy Day Camp," which opened Wednesday, $3.3 million.