The Weekend Box Office: Have We Mentioned We Love Harry Potter?

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We hate to say it, but it looks like the eight month delay (Eight months! Drat you Warner Bros.) may have been a good idea — Harry Potter dominated the weekend, with the largest world-wide opening of any film. Ever. And some of that money was ours. This week’s other newby, (500) Days of Summer debuted in twelfth place, which may not make our list, but considering that it only opened in 27 locations and is expanding, we expect to see it up here very soon. We’re so happy for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Despite the fact that most IMAX theatres were still playing Transformers: RotF , taking away a good chunk of potential income, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince pulled in an estimated $79.5M over the weekend for an $159.7M five-day total ($396.7M worldwide). It has already pulled ahead of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and is expected to end up among the top three in the franchise. Oh yeah, and we LOVED it! Fly, Fly, Gryffindor!

Though there were concerns about it going up against the new Potter flick, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs hung in there again this week, grabbing the second spot once more. The kids film brought in $17.7M this weekend for a $152M gross, right on par with 2006’s Ice Age: The Meltdown .

Opinions are mixed about whether Transformers:RotFcan still break the $400M mark we were all projecting a few weeks back. With a take of $13.8M in its fourth weekend ($363.9M overall), things have definitely slowed down for the Autobots. Still, the film has already made it to the #13 slot for all-time domestic gross, so we have a feeling the studio’s not too upset. We’re already bracing ourselves for a third installment.

Remember what we said about Bruno ‘s future last week? Looks like we were right, this isn’t looking so great for Sacha Baron Cohen. Bruno took a 73% tumble this weekend to bring in just $8.4M ($49.6M total) Ouch. There’s pretty much no way for Universal to get out of the red on this one and we expect to see Bruno ending its domestic run soon. Looks like we may have seen the last of Baron Cohen’s ambush-style comedy after all.

The Hangover and The Proposal took in almost identical totals this weekend, with the former just barely taking the fifth place spot. With an $8.3M take this weekend ($235.8M total) the Vegas romp has to share the title of “Cinderella-story of the Summer” with the Sandra Bullock comeback ($8.29M weekend/$128M total). Unless of course, (500) Days of Summer pulls a My Big Fat Greek Wedding on us, and makes it a three-way split. Here’s hoping…