Forget Glitter, let's keep playing Hardball.

That was the attitude of moviegoers--or at least those who showed up. In what marked the slowest weekend since September 2000, Keanu Reeves' movie about inner-city little leaguers remained number one, earning $8.1 million, according to final studio figures Monday.

But Mariah Carey's tale of an '80s songbird seeking stardom had so little sparkle it didn't even debut in the top 10. Delayed by Carey's emotional meltdown and tarnished by blisteringly bad reviews, the film earned just $2.4 million to land in 11th place.

With audiences still reeling from the September 11 terrorist attacks, major-league football and baseball back on the field, some 89 million people tuning in to the all-star telethon Friday and no strong new releases during what's traditionally a time-out box-office period, theaters were practically empty. The top 12 films grossed $43.5 million--down 17 percent from last weekend and down 8 percent from the same time last year. (That was when the slasher flick Urban Legends: Final Cut debuted at number one with $8.5 million.)

The top per-screen average was $5,000, for the Bible-based treatise Megiddo, a sequel to The Omega Code about a world on the brink of supernatural terror. The 8XEntertainment independent release, not screened for critics, was heavily promoted by the Trinity Broadcasting Network, enabling it to reach the faithful at just 314 theaters and pull in $1.6 million.

Here's a rundown of the top 10 as compiled by box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations from final studio tallies:

1. Hardball, $8.1 million
2. The Others, $5.1 million
3. The Glass House, $4.4 million
4. Rush Hour 2, $3.55 million
5. The Musketeer, $3.52 million
6. Two Can Play That Game, $3.2 million
7. Rat Race, $2.94 million
8. Rock Star, $2.93 million
9. Jeepers Creepers, $2.8 million
10. American Pie 2, $2.7 million

(originally published 9/23/01 at 12:50 p.m. PT)

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