‘Bruno’ sashays to top of box office

'Ice Age' passes the $100 million mark

Universal’s Sacha Baron Cohen starrer “Bruno” weathered a dramatic Saturday fall-off to win the domestic B.O. race with $30.4 million, putting its worldwide debut at a fashionable $55.4 million after scoring $25 million internationally.

But “Bruno” — which pushes the bounds of the R-rating — will need svelte legs to match the box office performance of Baron Cohen’s previous film, “Borat,” which didn’t see the same sort of decline on opening weekend.

The dino-sized performer at the international B.O. was 20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” which grossed $98 million in its second frame for a foreign cume of $327.1 million. The 3-D toon made life difficult for “Bruno” in several key territories.

Nor was “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” that far behind “Bruno” domestically, grossing $28.5 million and jumping the $100 million mark for a domestic total of $120.6 million and a boffo global cume of $447.7 million in just its 14th day in release.

Fox struggled, however, with “I Love You, Beth Cooper,” directed by Chris Columbus, a teen skewing comedy produced by the now-shuttered Fox Atomic label. “Beth Cooper” grossed $5 million from 1,858 runs in its debut to place No. 7.

In 2006, it was Fox that released Baron Cohen’s “Borat,” which became a sleeper hit, cuming $128.5 million domestically and $133.1 million overseas.

“Bruno” beat “Borat’s” $26.5 million opening, but dropped a precipitous 39% from Friday to Saturday, indicating that most fans turned out on opening day.

Laffer is punctuated by the same sort of over-the-top-pranks that have become Baron Cohen’s trademark, but it’s more sexually graphic than “Borat,” including close-up penis action. Filmmakers told the MPAA ratings board that the penises were animated, no matter how real they look in the film.

“Borat” saw a 10% uptick from Friday to Saturday; that film bowed in November. But even compared with other R-rated films released in summer, “Bruno” saw a big decline. Warner Bros.’ “The Hangover” dropped 10% from Friday to Saturday when opening earlier this summer. Last year, “Step Brothers” dropped 17%; “Superbad,’ 15%.

“Bruno” went out in 2,756 runs domestically, nearly triple the number of “Borat’s” opening screen count.

Universal said the studio couldn’t be happier with the results, and that “Bruno’s” Friday boffo gross of $14.4 million showed that auds saw the pic as an event opening.

“It performed fantastically on a global basis. And based on its strength, we are in a great position financially,” said Universal prexy of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco.

Universal picked up “Bruno” from Media Rights Capital, which financed and produced the film. U paid $42.5 million for domestic distribution rights, as well as distribution rights in eight foreign markets. That doesn’t include marketing and print costs. Fox and Sony both passed on the deal. U came onboard before the release of “Borat.”

Like Universal, MRC co-chair/co-CEO Modi Wiczyk said the film is already a financial success.

“Not bad for a movie that doesn’t have talking robots,” Wiczyksaid.

Film skewed male (56%), as well as slightly older (54% over the age of 25).

Universal made the decision to open “Bruno” day and date, despite the crowded summer release calendar. U opened the pic in 1,435 theaters in eight markets. Pic pulled in $5 million more internationally from territories where Sony and Mandate are distributing.

Among U-controlled markets, “Bruno’s” international opening was led by $8.1 million from 457 runs in Baron Cohen’s native U.K., and Ireland. “Bruno” tied for No. 1 with “Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” which also grossed $8.1 million for the weekend.

The U.K. ponied up north of $46 million for “Borat,” by far the biggest gross of any foreign market. “Borat” also did gangbuster biz in Australia and Germany.

“Bruno” placed No. 1 in Australia, grossing $6.1 million from 222. In Germany, B.O. revs came in at $2.9 million from 453 screens. That’s ahead of “Borat’s” numbers, but not enough to beat “Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” which pulled in a boffo $15.1 million for the weekend.

“Dawn of the Dinosaurs” remained No. 1 in nearly all markets. It’s only the third film of the year to gross north of $300 million at the international B.O. after Sony’s “Angels and Demons” and Paramount’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

Coming in No. 3 at the domestic box office, “Transformers 2” remains a potent player, grossing $24.2 million from 4,293 screens for a cume of $339.2 million in its third frame. Overseas, film also did impressive biz, grossing $32.5 million from 9,156 runs in 63 territories for a cume of $364.5. Pic remains a powerhouse particularly in Asia, while doing strong business in its debut in India.

“Transformers 2” jumped the $700 million mark at the worldwide box office to land at $703.7 million

U’s Johnny Depp starrer “Public Enemies” fell 44% in its second weekend, grossing an estimated $14.1 million from 3,336 screens for a cume of $66.5 million. Overseas, film grossed a healthy $8 million from 1,645 playdates in 17 territories for a foreign cume of $16.7 million early in its run. Worldwide tally is $83.2 million.

Women continue to turn out for Disney’s Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy “The Proposal,” which placed No. 5 at the domestic B.O., grossing $10.5 million from 3,158 runs for a cume of $113.8million in its fourth sesh. Film grossed an estimated $7 million from 1,818 locations in 19 territories at the foreign B.O. for a cume of $40.7 million and boffo worldwide tally of $174.5 million. Film held well in holdover markets, while seeing strong starts in Spain, Brazil and the Ukraine.

“The Hangover” came in No. 6 at the domestic box office for a cume through Sunday of $222.4 million. Film is fast catching up with the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time, “Beverly Hills Cop” ($234.8 million).

“Hangover” grossed $7 million internationally for the weekend, putting the foreign cume at $74.1 million. Global haul is just shy of $300 million, or $298.1 million.

Making noise at the specialty box office Stateside was Summit Entertainment’s “The Hurt Locker,” which grossed $623,000 as it expanded to 60 locations in its third frame for a per-location average of $10,383 and cume of $1.1 million.

Among openers, Intl. Film Circuit’s “Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg” posted a per-location average of $9,312 as it grossed $18,624 from two locations. Magnolia’s “Hump Day” grossed $29,000 from two runs for a per-screen average of $14,000.

Samuel Goldwyn/IDP’s “Blood: The Last Vampire” grossed $103,000 as it opened in 20 theaters for a per- location average of $5,150.

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