Box Office Breakdown: Ice Age 3 and Transformers 2 Play to a Tie, While Public Enemies Steals Third

Ladies and gentlemen: We have a draw! Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs each pulled down an estimated $42.5 over Fourth of July weekend to tie atop the charts, meaning a winner won’t be decided until the final numbers are tallied later today. (Our money is on the kiddie flick.) Opening in third was the epic (and epically long) Public Enemies, which managed to heist an estimated $26.1 million, giving director Michael Mann the biggest opening weekend of his career. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.

1. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: $42.5 million ($67.5 million total)

Even if Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs winds up ahead of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, this start has to be considered a huge disappointment. Despite opening on more screens than either of the previous Ice Age films, Dawn of the Dinosaurs had the lowest-grossing first weekend in the series. Worse, since opening last Wednesday, Dawn of the Dinosaurs has grossed $67.5 million over the five days. That’s an impressive number until you consider that both Up and Ice Age 2 each had higher opening weekends over the course of just three days … and without the added benefit of a holiday. Oh, and did we mention that since Dawn of the Dinosaurs is in 3-D, the ticket prices are higher? Not good.

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: $42.5 million ($293.5 million total)

While a 61 percent plunge from last weekend is alarming—the drop puts Revenge of the Fallen in Terminator Salvation territory—the Transformers sequel still managed to become the highest-grossing movie of 2009, flying by the very game Up to take control of the title. A total of $293.5 million in just 12 days is quite amazing, but, if you really want your eyes to pop, check out the foreign numbers: Revenge of the Fallen has already taken in some $298 million internationally, putting its worldwide grosses above $590 million. Maybe the Obama administration should let Michael Bay take a crack at the economy.

3. Public Enemies: $26.1 million ($41 million total)

The good news: If you take away the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, this is Johnny Depp’s third-biggest opener, behind only Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sleepy Hollow. Plus, with $41 million since debuting on Wednesday, Public Enemies will likely pass Michael Mann’s last summer entry, Miami Vice, sometime next weekend. The bad news: A very audience unfriendly affair—the film could only muster a B-grade from CinemaScore—we doubt Public Enemies will have the word of mouth to sustain prolonged successes at the box office. Time will tell here, but we aren’t that optimistic.

4. The Proposal: $12.7 million ($94.2 million total)

Where is the love for Anne Fletcher? The choreographer-turned-director (you’ve seen her dance moves in Hairspray and Walk Hard) has helmed three movies thus far—Step Up, 27 Dresses and, now, The Proposaland each has grossed more than the last. Even better, when The Proposal passes the $100 million threshold, she’ll become only the 10th female director in Hollywood history to guide a film into triple-digit receipts. Give the woman her due, people!

5. The Hangover: $10.4 million ($204.1 million total)

The Hangover held off the sixth weekend of Up (which, with $264.8 million, is now the second-highest-grossing Pixar movie ever) to finish in the top five for the fifth straight week. At $204.1 million, Todd Phillips’ film will become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy sometime this week, surpassing the $209.2 million of Wedding Crashers. Future screenwriters take note: Comedies set in and around blessed nuptials are a pretty good bet for success.

Box Office Breakdown: Ice Age 3 and Transformers 2 Play to a Tie, While Public Enemies Steals Third