Disney’s romantic comedy “The Proposal” claimed the No.1 box office spot this weekend grossing $34.1 million from 3,056 screens, giving Sandra Bullock the best opening of her career.
With “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” — the sequel to the 2007 blockbuster — slated to hit theaters on Wednesday, this weekend’s winner should see only a one-week stay at the top. Still, “Proposal” gives Bullock her first No. 1 debut since “Forces of Nature” in 1999 and marks the biggest opening for co-star Ryan Reynolds as a male lead.
“It crossed the entire country, said Chuck Viane, president of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. “We didn’t run into any pockets of places where it didn’t play.”
The weekend’s other big new release, Sony’s “Year One” – starring Jack Black and Michael Cera — could only manage to come in at No. 4 with $20.2 million from 3,022 theaters.
Sandwiched in between the two openers were strong holdovers “The Hangover,” from Warner Bros., and “Up,” Disney-Pixar’s 3-D animation fantasy.
After two consecutive weeks at No.1, “Hangover” fell just 18 percent to take the No. 2 spot, raking in $26.9 million and pushing its yearly total to $152.9 million.
“Up,” which opened No.1 and has since remained one step behind “Hangover,” came in at No. 3 with $21.3 million for a cume of $600.1 million.
With big releases such as “Transformers” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” opening soon, the weekend was expected to be slower, and many projected “Hangover” to retain its hold on the top spot for a third week in a row.
Instead, Bullock and Reynolds combined for a summer surprise as domestic box office revenues increased 3 percent from the same weekend last year. This was the first “up” weekend in June despite an overall increase in movie going this year.
Bullock’s previous top opening was with 2007’s “The Premonition,” which debuted with $17.6 million. Reynolds already had his smash hit of the summer with “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” but his previous best in a starring role was 2005’s “Amityville Horror,” which opened to $23.5 million.
While expected summer blockbusters may be coming soon, the sustained success of comedies like “Hangover” gives Disney hope that “Proposal” will avoid a serious drop off. “I think we’re all looking for a little comic relief,” Viane said.
Comedy played well in the indie world as well, as Woody Allen’s “Whatever Works,” starring Larry David, averaged $31,191 on nine screens its opening weekend, grossing $280,720.
On the flip side of “Hangover” or “Up,” there are disappointing holdovers such as “The Taking of Pelham 123” and “Land of the Lost.” Pelham dropped 52 percent in its second week, grossing $11.3 million for a fifth-place finish and a cume of $43.3 million. “Lost,” a dud ever since its No. 3 opening, took in just less than $4 million, a 56 percent decline.
The biggest flop still belongs to Paramount, which also has the year’s highest grossing film to date in “Star Trek.” Eddie Murphy’s “Imagine That,” which opened to just $5.5 million, fell all the way to ninth in just its second week, earning $3.1 million.