Monday, July 20, 2009

'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince' Takes Box-Office Crown

The Box-Office Top Five

#1 "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" ($79.5 million)
#2 "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" ($17.7 million)
#3 "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" ($13.8 million)
#4 "Brьno" ($8.4 million)
#5 "The Hangover" ($8.3 million)

Moviegoing Muggles were positively enchanted this weekend, falling under the spell of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." The sixth installment in the Potter franchise deposited a tidy $79.5 million in its Gringotts vault, which now contains a five-day total of $160 million, $22.2 million of it from Wednesday's midnight showings alone. While the boy wizard fell short of "Transformers" or "The Dark Knight" numbers, it's the biggest-opening "Harry Potter" film to date, and its overseas tally of $396.7 million is the biggest international debut ever.

Young moviegoers were clearly where the money was this weekend, as #2 belonged to "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs." Though in its third weekend, the animated adventure made another $17.7 million, and is enjoying a cool total of $152 million. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" also stayed right where it was last week, bringing in another $13.8 million. Its $364 million haul makes it the box-office behemoth of the summer.

"Brьno" took a bruising fall off the catwalk, dropping all the way to #4 in its sophomore week, just barely beating "The Hangover." Sacha Baron Cohen's latest mockumentary only made $8.4 million at the box office, for a 10-day total of a mere $49.6 million. Cohen's gay Austrian fashionista probably won't have the legs of his outrageous predecessor "Borat," which earned $67.1 million in the same time frame and $128.5 million overall.

Though "500 Days of Summer" had too few screenings to place in the top five, it had the biggest opening of the year for a limited release — it earned $838,000 from only 27 sites. Summit Entertainment's "The Hurt Locker" also had a successful expansion from 34 theaters to 93, grossing $764,000 for the weekend and $2.2 million total. Despite such a wide variety of releases, the box office was down 39 percent from last year, when "The Dark Knight" stormed into theaters with a record-breaking $158.4 million.

Upcoming Releases

Warner Bros. offers R-rated horror with "The Orphan," Sony offers R-rated comedy with "The Ugly Truth," and Disney offers G-rated action with the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced "G-Force."

Check out everything we've got on "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,""Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" and"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."

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