Weekend Box Office: ‘Bruno’ barely hangs on to top spot with $30 million

07.12.09 8 years ago

AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Audiences giveth and audiences taketh away.

On the outside, the opening weekend total for “Bruno” of $30 million would seem incredibly impressive for a hard R-rated comedy, but like a weekend binger that went completely wrong, “Bruno’s” huge opening Friday of $14.4 million dropped an unexpected 38% on Saturday to just $8.8 million.  It appears star and creator Sacha Baron Cohen has a built in fanbase, but the question is how much continuing interest will there be for the picture outside it.  Luckily for Universal Pictures, the studio also acquired some key international territories and the picture should still be a nice profit center after the disappointing “Land of the Lost” put a damper on the summer last month.

Still going strong in the second slot was “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.”  The Fox franchise pulled in another $28.5 million for a new total of $120 million.  The family flick should come close to equalling the $195 million of its predecessor, “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” but that has to be somewhat of a disappointment for Fox.  The first two “Ice Age” films were released outside of the lucrative summer window where kids were in school diminishing their box office potential.  This version had the extra incentive of being in 3D, but it doesn’t appear to be performing any better.  Unless it shoots past $200 million, this would be the second family “blockbuster” that underperformed for the studio after “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” in May.  You can’t sneeze at $100 million plus, but perhaps the Fox Family formula is getting a little predictable for audiences?

One picture that has gone above and beyond all expectations is “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The Michael Bay megahit was third this weekend with $24.2 million bringing it’s domestic total to a staggering $339 million to date.  Critics be damned, audiences what their big robots and Megan Fox any which way they can get it.

In fourth place and making a Saturday comeback from a lower than expected Friday gross, “Public Enemies” was only down 44% from it’s opening weekend for $14.1 million and a new $66 million total.  It will be close, but the Johnny Depp/Christian Bale drama should come very close to $100 million by the time all is said and done.

The only other new release this weekend was “I Love You Beth  Cooper” which got dumped both by its studio and audiences with only $5 million from 2,000 theaters.  Most perplexing is that if the studio didn’t think the Chris Columbus teen comedy could match up against the big boys in the summer, why not push it to a more favorable fall release date?  Strange decision making to be sure.

Also noteworthy, “The Proposal” is still in the top five with a new total of $113 million (look for it to finish between $140-150 million), “The Hangover” found another $9.9 million in sixth for a stunning $222 million ($250 million plus is pretty much a lock making it most likely the most profitable picture of the year) and “Up” is finally slowing down with a new cume of $273 million which ain’t too shabby.

Things will take a dramatic turn on Wednesday as “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which is tracking through the roof, hits theaters.

Weekend estimates are provided by Box Office Mojo.  Final results will be released on Monday.

1. “Bruno,” $30 million

2. “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” $ 28.5 million, $  120 million to date.

3. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” $24.2 million, $  339 million to date.

4. “Public Enemies,” $ 14 million, $66 million to date.

5. “The Proposal,” $10.5 million, $113 million to date.

6. “The Hangover,” $9.9 million, $222 million to date.

7. “I Love You Beth Cooper,” $5 million

8. “Up,” $4.6 million, $273 million to date.

9. “My  Sister’s Keeper,” $4.1 million, $35.8 million to date.

10. “The Taking of Pelham 123,” $1.6 million, $61.4 million

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