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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

North American box office: ‘Transformers 2’ continues to steamroll the competition

Bad-ass robots are the spirit of the Fourth of July? *sigh*:

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: $42.3 million (2nd week; drops 61%)
2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: $41.7 million (NEW)
3. Public Enemies: $25.3 million (NEW)
4. The Proposal: $12.9 million (3rd week; drops 31%)
5. The Hangover: $11.3 million

actual numbers, not estimates
Well, perhaps it’s not fair to say that the Bay pseudoepic steamrollered the third Ice Age movie, because it was impossible to call the winner based on Sunday’s estimates, it was all so close. And even with the final numbers in, the animated movie is so hard on Transformers’ heels that it barely makes a difference — a little over half a million when we’re talking $40-plus mill is barely worth noting. And Ice Age 3 comes out ahead when we look at per-screen averages, although again, just barely: $10,171 (at each of 4,099 venues) for the cartoon versus $9,995 (at each of 4,234 venues) for the almost-cartoon. (The top per-screen, however, went to The Hurt Locker, earning $14,578 on each of its nine screens.)

However you slice it, it’s probably an excellent example of perfect counterprogramming: put the family-friendly (for generous values of “family-friendly”) flick up against the “teenaged boys and young men love it” blow-’em-up, and everyone’s happy.

For the Friday-through-Sunday weekend alone, Public Enemies is only Michael Mann’s second biggest opening, coming in just a smidge behind his Miami Vice. But its five-day opening of a little over $40 million easily puts it out in front as Mann’s best. It’s also one of the best openings ever in the true-crime genre. Whether audiences truly embrace its convention busting will be known next weekend, when it has no real competition for the segment of the audience that seeks out adult drama.

By the end of today or possibly tomorrow, Transformers: ROTF will have passed $300 million in cumulative take. By midweek, Star Trek will pass $250 million. The Hangover passed $200 million over the holiday weekend.

Up finally dropped out of the top 5, dropping 50 percent to a take of $6.5 million, far behind the No. 5 film, The Hangover. But don’t weep for the Pixar film: It will easily pass $275 million before its done, and will certainly be the choice stocking stuffer come the winter gift-giving holidays.

All that sounds, impressive, but overall business was just about even with the same weekend last year. So the relative cooling of the box office continues…

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]



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