Guinea pigs and the sexy chemistry of Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler lured moviegoers away from the second Friday of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” as Disney’s family 3-D actioner “G-Force” and Sony’s R-rated romantic comedy “The Ugly Truth” respectively slotted the top two spots at the Friday box office with $11.5 million and $10.8 million.
Playing at 3,697 engagements, “G-Force” about a unit of animal government spies wound up ranking as the second highest opening day for a PG-rated Jerry Bruckheimer production behind 2007’s “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” which made $16.7 million. A PG-rated Bruckheimer pic in the summer is an anomaly –his last title being 1986’s “Top Gun”—as the producer’s actioners are typically PG-13 or R-rated. “G-Force” is the first 3-D title to be produced by Bruckheimer and 1,603 of its theaters are 3-D locales. The film features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Sam Rockwell and Tracy Morgan.
Meanwhile, “The Ugly Truth,” earned opening day records all around for headliner Heigl and director Robert Luketic whose previous respective highs were $9.8 million for 2007’s “Knocked Up” and $8.7 million for last spring’s “21.” “The Ugly Truth” is Luketic’s fifth feature and his second collaboration with “Legally Blonde” scribes Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. “The Ugly Truth” was also penned by Nicole Eastman.
Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” succeeded in becoming the sixth title in the franchise to cross the $200 million threshold yesterday. “Half-Blood Prince” earned $9.3 million off 4,325, repping a 65% decline, for a domestic cume to date of $201.1 million.
Behind “Half Blood Prince” was another Warner Bros.’ title, the horror pic “Orphan” starring Peter Sarsgaard and Vera Farmiga which bowed to $4.9 million on 2,750.
In fifth, Fox’s “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” nabbed $2.6 million on 3,300, down 53% for a running cume in its fourth Friday of $165.7 million. The arthouse scene posted a number of hearty per theaters yesterday; led by Fox Searchlight’s romantic comedy “500 Days of Summer” which expanded its theater count from 27 to 85, repping a 91% spike and an average of $5,910 or $502,000. Pic’s cume in its second Friday stands at $1.9 million.
Roadside Attractions’ opener “Shrink” starring Kevin Spacey earned a theater average of $2,605 at two theaters or $5,210.
Magnolia Pictures’ “The Answer Man” chalked up a theater average of $1,130 or $3,000 at three theaters.