Box Office: Bruno Edges Out CG Critters, Robots

Interesting happenings at the box office over the weekend, as although Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” took the top spot as expected, it doesn’t appear as if the movie, which scored $30.4 million (according to studio estimates) will have legs. Although the mockumentary, about a gay Austrian fashion designer who comes to America and does gay stuff to make people uncomfortable for laughs, easily topped the debut weekend of its predecessor “Borat’s” $26.5 million, it had the advantage of being screened in three times the number of theaters as the 2006 movie, which went on to make $128.5 million in the States.

Another chink in “Bruno’s” armor is that the film scored big on Friday ($14.4 million), but fell off on Saturday and Sunday ($8.8 million and $7.2 million, respectively). Usually when a movie does well on Fridays, it usually continues the momentum into Saturdays, the biggest moviegoing day of the week. The fact that “Bruno” dropped off is not a good sign for Universal Pictures, though a spokeswoman for the studio blames it on the “fickle” Summer crowd. Tell that to the boys over at “The Hangover”, dollface.

Shaky or not, “Bruno’s” estimated $30.4 million was good enough to land the gay Austrian designer in first place, beating back last week’s dueling CG sequels, “Ice Age 3” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. Both movies continue to perform well, with “Ice Age 3” taking in another $28.5 million (for a 2-week total of $120 million), while Michael Bay’s “Transformers” sequel continues its massive haul at the box office, raking in another $24.2 million in its third week of release, giving it a 3-week Stateside total of $339 million — so far.

The week’s other studio opening, the Hayden Panettiere teen comedy “I Love You Beth Cooper” landed at 7th place with $5 million. I’m not sure if the studio should be disappointed or not; it’s not as if the film had any big stars, and indeed, the trailers looked, well, $5 million might have been their best case scenario given the almost non-existent buzz the film had coming into theaters. The week’s other notable debut, Chris Nahon’s much-delayed “Blood: The Last Vampire” opened in just 20 theaters, just enough to give the horror-action film a $103,000 take. Not exactly great numbers, but its earnings-per-screen average at least doubled that of “I Love You Bet Cooper”, so that’s something. A wider release for “Blood” would be nice, though unlikely.

Here’s how the Box Office Top 10 looked over the weekend (via):

1 ——Bruno ——$30,426,000 —— $30,426,000
2 ——Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ——$28,500,000—— $120,573,000
3 ——Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ——$24,200,000 ——$339,208,000
4 ——Public Enemies —— $14,111,000 ——$66,538,000
5 ——The Proposal ——$10,507,000 ——$113,764,000
6 ——The Hangover ——$9,930,000 ——$222,442,000
7 ——I Love You Beth Cooper ——$5,000,000 ——$5,000,000
8 ——Up ——$4,656,000 ——$273,775,000
9 ——My Sister’s Keeper ——$4,180,000 ——$35,801,000
10 ——The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 ——$1,600,000 ——$61,494,000

Below: “But seriously, guys, whose kid is this? Anyone?”