‘Transformers,’ ‘Ice Age’ neck and neck

'Public Enemies' third with $10.1 million

Paramount’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and Fox’s 3-D animated feature “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” continued to be neck and neck at the Friday box office with “Transformers 2” taking the top spot with $17.8 million from 4,234 theaters.

In 10 days, “Transformers 2” has amassed an estimated $268.7 million. Pic’s second Friday at the B.O. repped a 51% decline.

In second place, “Ice Age 3” grossed $17 million from 4,099, upping its three-day cume to $41.9 million. Of its total theater count, approximately 1,606 are 3-D venues.

Universal’s gangster epic “Public Enemies,” starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, nabbed third with $10.1 million off 3,334, moving its cume since Wednesday to $24.9 million.

With Independence Day falling on a Saturday this year, the Friday box office benefited from those moviegoers who had the day off from work. As such, most of the day’s top pics saw a surge yesterday from their Thursday receipts. “Transformers 2,” “Ice Age 3” and “Public Enemies” posted Thursday-to-Friday gains that exceeded 50%.

Holdovers also prospered yesterday with the respective fourth and fifth place holders, Disney’s “The Proposal” and Warner Bros.’ “The Hangover,” seeing slight dips in their Friday B.O. from a week ago. “Proposal” declined 15% with $5.2 million off 3,099 and an estimated running B.O. of $86.7 million, while “Hangover” slipped 14% with $4.6 million from 3,070 and a domestic cume of $198.3 million. “Hangover” is set to cross $200 million and will join two other R-rated comedies that accomplished such a feat at the domestic B.O.: 1984’s “Beverly Hills Cop” ($234.8 million) and 2005’s “The Wedding Crashers” ($209.2 million).

“Transformers 2” is on a path to becoming the second fastest film to cross the $300 million mark after last summer’s “The Dark Knight,” which hit that record in its first 10 days at the B.O. The current second place record holder is 2006’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” which earned $300 million in 16 days.

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