With all this extra money lying around, perhaps it might be time for Hogwarts to add a new wing to the campus: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ruled the roost over the weekend conjuring up an estimated $79.4 million in ticket sales. (Wizard jokes, hello!) Add that to the nearly $80 million the film grossed since opening on Wednesday, and Half-Blood Prince has already taken in an astonishing $159.6 million in grosses. Meanwhile, opening in 12th place was (500) Days of Summer, which averaged more than $31,000 from just 27 screens. It looks like the breakout indie hit of the summer has potentially arrived. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.
1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $79.4 million ($159.6 million total)
We guess there is some bad news—The Half Blood Prince’s three-day total gives it the second-lowest three-day opening weekend in the Harry Potter series; the film failed to reach the $200 million that Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen grossed in its first five days last month—but those complaints seem like nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. With $159.6 million already in the bank, The Half-Blood Prince should find itself comfortably grossing upward of $290 million domestically, which would place the film among the top three in the franchise. Another Potter, another blockbuster.
2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: $17.7 million ($152 million total)
This train just keeps rolling, huh? Dawn of the Dinosaurs dipped just 35 percent this weekend, bringing its total north of $150 million domestically and over $500 million worldwide. What started out looking like a potential disappointment for 20th Century Fox is anything but: This brand appears to have enough legs to support a fourth film if necessary.
3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: $13.7 million ($363.8 million total)
Can Paramount finagle a way to push Revenge of the Fallen over $400 million domestically? What seemed like a sure thing following the $200 million five-day start now appears to be getting harder and harder to imagine with each passing weekend. To wit: Transformers dropped 43 percent over the weekend and is sorta running out of steam. Do Shia LaBeouf and his killer robot friends have another $40 million in the couch cushions? We’re not so sure.
4. Brüno: $8.37 million ($49.5 million total)
It turns out the joke was on Sacha Baron Cohen after all. By plummeting nearly 73 percent in weekend two, Brüno is now the proud owner of the third-largest weekend-to-weekend drop this year, behind only Friday the 13th (80 percent) and Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience (77 percent). While we will readily admit that with $50 million in domestic grosses already in the bank, Universal will probably end up in the black on their investment, trying to spin Brüno as anything other than an outright disaster is absolutely ridiculous. This movie is a bomb, plain and simple.
5. The Hangover: $8.31 million ($235.8 million total)
Hot on Brüno’s heels were both The Hangover and The Proposal ($8.29 million/$128 million total), and, as usual, both found themselves with the lowest percentage drops amongst the top 10. If this sounds like a broken record, that’s because it is: Outside of the massive openings from Transformers and Harry Potter, the story of the summer remains how much audiences seem to love these two comedies. Brüno should be taking notes.
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