Ice, “Public,” “Fallen” Vie For Box-Office

The opening of the new “Ice Age” sequel and the second weekend of the “Transformers” sequel are neck-and-neck in their vying for the top position at the Independence Day holiday weekend box-office. Early estimates peg “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” both at $42.5 million for Friday to Sunday at one of the smaller July 4th box-office grosses in years.

Unlike previous years, the Saturday bump this year turned into a drain with most films dropping significantly on the weekend. Opening on Wednesday, the third ‘Ice’ pulled in around $67.5M in its opening five days, a decrease from the second film which scored $75.6M over the same period. Reviews were generally negative with Rotten Tomatoes scoring it at 46% and 5.5/10 with critics, the weakest score of the series. Same goes for Metacritic where it scored just 51/100 vs. the 60 and 58 for the first two films in the series respectively.

‘Fallen’ meanwhile plunged 61% in its second week, the negative reviews and word-of-mouth impacting returns. Yet with such a huge opening the film already stands just shy of $300 million tallies both domestically and internationally, easily crowning it the top of the US box-office this year so far (ahead of “Up” with $264M). In global markets its still second to “Angels and Demons” with $330M, a number it will pass sometime in the coming week. All up the Michael Bay epic looks like it could join the limited club of only four films which have crossed the $1 billion global box-office mark.

Michael Mann’s John Dilinger 30’s-set action film “Public Enemies” came in third with $26.2M for the three days and around $41 million since it opened on Wednesday. The number is almost exactly the same as the openings of Mann’s last two films – “Collateral” and “Miami Vice” which went on to earn $103M and $63M respectively. Costing at least $100 million and with subject matter that has little appeal in foreign markets despite the stars, the film looks like it will likely only break even.

Review notices for ‘Enemies’ were mixed to somewhat positive. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 65% and 6.3/10, almost the exact same score as Mann’s 2001 effort “Ali” (67% & 6.3/10). While it’s not “Miami Vice” bad (47% & 5.5/10), it’s a long way from “Collateral” (86% & 7.4/10), let alone Mann’s almost unanimously praised trio of features in the 90’s – “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Heat” and “The Insider”. On Metacritic it fared better with 70/100, a touch above “Ali” and “Miami Vice” (both 65/100), a tad behind “Collateral” (71/100), and notably behind “Heat” (76) and “The Insider” (84).

Tear-jerker “My Sister’s Keeper” dropped 58% in its second weekend and took in just $5.3M for seventh place. Romantic comedy “The Proposal” held the best of all the films in wide release, falling just 31% with $12.8M in fourth place and looks set to pass $100M in the coming week. “The Hangover” also held strong and now sits at an astonishing $204.2M total. All others fell along expected lines.