Harry Potter's 'Half-Blood Prince' becomes box office king
The sixth installment of the wildly successful Harry Potter series conjured up an estimated $79.5 million for its opening weekend at the box office, putting its first five days at an impressive $159.7 million–a franchise best. But even with its family-friendly PG rating, Harry left some room out there for other kid-oriented fare, specifically Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which in its third weekend dropped a scant 36% to $17.7 million. Its total gross now stands at $152 million. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen also held on remarkably well, falling a solid 43% to $13.7 million. The Michael Bay-directed juggernaut’s four-week gross has now reached $363 million.
There was little room — or much love, for that matter — for Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno. Unlike Borat, which in its second weekend increased 7% when the studio added a thousand theaters, Bruno fell like a stone, losing 73% of its first weekend value for an additional $8 million. Its 10-day gross now stands at $49.5 million. Rather, audiences chose to stick with the comedy The Hangover, which in its seventh weekend in theaters fell only 16% to $8 million. One of summer’s most unlikely success stories now boasts a total take of $235 million.
Fox Searchlight seems to have another hit on their hands with the indie romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer starring Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Opening in a limited 27 theaters, the film grossed $837,588 for a per-screen average of $31,022. Between Harry, Transformers and The Hangover, 2009’s summer is up close to 4% from last year, even though this weekend was off a huge 39% due to comparisons to last year’s The Dark Knight which opened to the biggest opening ever last year at this time.
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