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Bruno On Top After Opening Weekend

The flamboyant fashionista found himself in a familiar position after a wild weekend: on top and in charge.

Bruno Box Office
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The flamboyant fashionista found himself in a familiar position after a wild weekend: on top and in charge. "Bruno" raked in $30.6 million over the weekend, making it the #1 film in America. "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" came in second with a $27.6 weekend haul. 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "Public Enemies," and "The Proposal" filled out the list of the weekend's top five moneymakers.

But despite the big box office bucks, analysts aren't sure Bruno has enough stamina to stay on top for long. Opening day was huge, as the film brought in $14.4 million on Friday alone. But Saturday saw a serious dip in ticket sales- just $8.8 million- and another on Sunday, with just $7.4 million.

Entertainment number-crunchers say that true hit movies typically see their ticket sales go up on Saturday of opening weekend. "It is unusual for a film to drop on Saturday," reports Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com. "Normally, you expect the film at least to be even on Saturday or above compared to Friday, because Saturday is the biggest moviegoing day of the weekend. It's going to be interesting to see how it does over the long run."

For example, "Borat" pulled in $9.2 million on its opening Friday in 2006, but made $10.1 on Saturday. Industry experts say that's a sign that audiences who saw it on opening night recommended it to their friends. "Borat" went on to make $128.5 million in the US alone.

But "Bruno" opened in three times as many theatres as "Borat," and is debuting at a time of year when comedies tend to drop off after opening weekend. (This week's return of a certain snot-nosed wizard to theatres certainly won't help Bruno's ticket sales, either.) And while "Borat" was a textbook "word-of-mouth" success story, "Bruno" hasn't flown under anybody's radar on his way to the big screen, suggesting to some that Austria's most famous gay fashion reporter ever may have already peaked.

But the film's producers are pleased. Media Rights Capital, who financed the movie, said that the weekend totals exceeded their expectations. "We don't have talking robots or karate in our film," said co-chief executive officer Modi Wiczyk. "For that increasingly small subset of films that don't have robots, we did terrific."

And Universal Pictures isn't calling it quits, either. On Sunday of opening weekend, a toned-down cut of the film was submitted to the British Board of Film Classification. This version, missing three scenes that appear in the original version, should earn a "15" rating in the UK, meaning that more teens will be allowed to see the film when the edited version is released on July 24. The ninety seconds cut from the "18" version include "over-the-top sexual activity, a character acting out various sex acts, and a swingers' party."

"Due to the overwhelming demand by fans who are desperate to see the film, we're really pleased to be able to offer a '15' certificate version," Universal Pictures International president David Kosse told 'Variety'. "Both of these versions will allow many more of Bruno's fans in the UK to enjoy the film."

But will it be enough to propel Bruno into the top spot for a second week in a row? Stay tuned...


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