September 08, 2003 10:18 AM

David Spade’s homage to lost adolescence in Hollywood, “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star,” outperformed the bat-creature of “Jeepers Creepers 2” at the weekend box office by appealing to family audiences rather than just bloodthirsty teens, according to industry observers.

Still, its $7 million opening didn’t make as much as Spade’s trailer-trash comedy “Joe Dirt,” which debuted in April 2001 with $8 million, notes the Associated Press.

“He was more successful with the late Chris Farley,” Brandon Gray, proprietor of movie tracker BoxOfficeMojo.com, tells the news service. “I mean $7 million in this day and age is a pretty mediocre opening at best, but they can brag about being No. 1, and it could have been a lot worse.”

“The Order,” a supernatural thriller starring Heath Ledger as a priest searching for a man who absorbs the sins of other people, debuted weakly. Its studio did not preview it for critics.

Meanwhile, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” has pulled in $282.1 million in North America to date, beating “The Matrix Reloaded” to become the second-highest grossing film of 2003. “Finding Nemo” remains No. 1 with $333.9 million.

The Top 10 movies of the weekend, according to studio estimates, were as follows:

1. “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star,” $7 million
2. “Jeepers Creepers 2,” $6.7 million
3. “Pirates of the Caribbean,” $5.5 million
4. “Freaky Friday,” $5.1 million
5. “S.W.A.T.,” $4.6 million
6. “The Order,” $4.3 million
7. “Open Range,” $4 million
8. “Seabiscuit,” $3.7 million
9. “Freddy vs. Jason,” $3.2 million
10. “Uptown Girls,” $2.4 million

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