It was a “wunderbar” weekend for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, whose latest mockumentary, Bruno, finished first at the box office by grossing $30.4 million, according to early estimates by Hollywood.com Box Office. However, Cohen better celebrate his victory quickly because like his gay Austrian character’s interview with Congressman Ron Paul, it’s not going to last too long. Bruno topped the charts on Friday with an imposing $14.4 million, but then dropped 39 percent on Saturday. In fact, while Bruno won the weekend, it came in third place on Saturday. Clearly, many of Cohen’s fans rushed to see Bruno on its opening day, but that considerable Friday-to-Saturday drop may also indicate poor word-of-mouth (the comedy scored a rancid “C” rating from CinemaScore moviegoers). Bruno surpassed the debut of Cohen’s last mockumentary, Borat, which opened to $26.5 million in November 2006, although it’s not a fair comparison — Bruno started its run on more than three times as many screens as Borat. All indicators point to Bruno struggling to match Borat‘s cumulative gross of $128.5 million.
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was No. 2 with $28.5 million, dropping only 32 percent from last weekend. The animated family film has made $120.6 million in two weeks. Third place went to the robots, as Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen smashed up $24.2 million in its third weekend, bringing its total to $339.2 million. Transformers 3 will be here before you know it.
Public Enemies (No. 4 with $14.1 million) and The Proposal (No. 5 with $10.5 million) round out the top five. The Proposal marks star Sandra Bullock’s first $100 million picture since 2000’s Miss Congeniality, and the romantic comedy should have no trouble passing 1994’s Speed to become Bullock’s biggest hit. The weekend’s other new wide release, the teen comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper, opened at No. 7 with $5 million.
Looking to the indie scene, a trio of films garnered decent openings. Blood: The Last Vampire drained $103,000 from 20 theaters. The “mumblecore” comedy, Humpday, made $30,000 on just two screens, and the music documentary, Soul Power, took $25,000 from six screens. The year’s best-reviewed film, The Hurt Locker, expanded to 60 theaters in its third weekend and earned $623,000 for a hearty $10,383 per-screen average. The Iraq War thriller will continue expanding into additional theaters over the next few weeks.
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