Transformers stomp the US box office

Given that it launched to a healthy figure on Monday night and all day Tuesday, plus keeping up its momentum across the week, Transformers naturally swept into the top spot for this weekend. While the movie made $85 million across its first three-and-a-half days, the weekend brought an estimated $67.7 million, pushing it to second place on the chart of 4th Of July openers, just behind Spider-Man 2. It’s still snatching plenty of those spurious records that studios love to dream up (“it’s the biggest opening for a film by a director born in May!”) which we’re sick of reporting on, but suffice to say that an approximate figure of $152.5 million in six-and-a-bit days is nothing to be sneezed at –it’s already made its budget back, at least. Consider the sequel in development right now…

Second place finds Ratatouille, which, despite opening fairly weakly for a Pixar film, has shown that it possesses far more than stubby little rodent legs, and is already chasing Cars’ box office take. It dashed across the $100 million mark this second weekend and has $109.5 million in the bank alongside healthy word of mouth. Let’s see how it (and Transformers) fares with the return of Harry Potter this week.

The top three didn’t actually change across the week – so that means third place is home to Die Hard 4.0, currently still performing well and making $17 million this weekend. Baldie Bruce’s latest McClane-a-thon has $84 million in total so far.

That’s a little better than the critically loathed (with good reason) License To Wed, with Robin Williams’ priestly comedy doing better than its savage reviews might have predicted, but still only making $18 million across the week (it opened on Tuesday), $10.4 of that at the weekend. We expect this one to drop like a stone next weekend.

Yet it performed better than Evan Almighty at fifth, which is taking on water fast, and has scraped to $78 million in 3 weeks. Only another $100 million to go, eh, lads – shame you won’t be in profit even then. We expect Carell wishes he’d waited and made another movie with Judd Apatow (more on him in a moment). A quick detour from comedy to horror finds 1408 at sixth, having taken in $7 million at the weekend and $53 million to date. Not huge then, but not too bad either.

Knocked Up, meanwhile (told you we were getting to Apatow), did exactly what you’d expect and help up again, at seventh. The summer’s comedy success story now has $132 million in the bank, which means that the team could lend the Almighty bods their $100 extra million and still be able to cover the production costs for the Seth Rogen starring flick. Bet we know which comedy Universal is happier with…

To eighth place, then, current home of Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer. It shed 800 cinemas this week and dropped to make $4.1 million. We’re not sure it’ll still be around in the charts next week, but it has made $123 million. In ninth is Michael Moore’s Sicko, which in a limited release of just 702 cinemas has scooped $11 million. So while it won’t be getting the accolades of, say, Fahrenheit 911, it’s still doing well. And it’s not like Mike needs the money, is it? Finally, the Ocean’s Thirteen gang stops by 10th place on its way out of the charts, taking $3.5 million and boosting its total to $109 million.

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