Box Office Preview: Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Bruno' eyes a big weekend win

Bruno-hat_l Sacha Baron Cohen’s equal-opportunity offender Bruno is barging into theaters this weekend, promising enough outrageous shtick to lure in the most reluctant of moviegoers, if only to see how far he’ll go. While Twentieth Century Fox, Cohen’s Borat distributor, was tasked with selling a strange Kazakhstani journalist to audiences, Universal is in the fortunate spot of marketing Bruno like a sequel. The studio’s over-the-top campaign shows that they may even be having a little fun with their gay Austrian fashion reporter. Now, with Bruno opening in 2,757 theaters, the one question is how well Baron Cohen’s flamboyant character will play in more conservative parts of the U.S.

1. Bruno: $37 million
In 2006, Borat opened in only 837 theaters to $26.4 million, a stunning debut at the time. Bruno is sure to gross more than that this weekend, continuing this summer’s trend of successful R-rated comedies. The under-35 crowd is definitely the core audience here, with the film sure to play well with college kids. But whether or not Baron Cohen’s homophobia satire resonates as a joke, or only as a furthering of gay stereotypes, will be the topic of discussion once the movie is seen. But, really, generating discussion can’t be a bad thing for the box office.

2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: $22 million
While its opening weekend didn’t live up to those of its predecessors, Ice Age 3 was still a hit with the younger set and their parents. And, no, it didn’t beat out Transformers 2 last weekend, but that should all change this frame. With nothing in its way, expect its sophomore session to drop in the 45 percent range with help from all those 3-D showings.

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: $19 million
While we won’t dwell on what it says about our society that Transformers 2 is the second fastest movie ever to hit the $300 million milestone (behind the beloved The Dark Knight) we will say that that is quite an achievement. But now it’s time for the film to start dropping off, and Bruno is just the movie to knock it from its perch. Still, expect a 55 percent hold: Some guys just can’t get enough of Megan Fox and transforming robots.

4. Public Enemies: $13 million
Johnny Depp’s John Dillinger flick bowed to a respectable $25 million. And its mid-week numbers have helped push it up to $50 million. The big question for this film is how it will hold during its second session — that point is crucial, actually, since the studio is banking on at least a $100 million gross. Some insiders are predicting a steep drop, but I think Public Enemies is likely to fall just under 50 percent.

5. The Proposal: $7 million
This Sandra Bullock romantic comedy has performed remarkably well, grossing $100 million in three weeks and never dropping more than 45 percent. Even if this weekend’s fall puts it off by 50 percent, The Proposal will still be deemed a remarkable success for the over-40 movie star.

Also opening…

I Love You, Beth Cooper: $6 million
Director Chris Columbus has had opening weekends as high as $90 million (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) and as low as $6 million (Heartbreak Hotel). Unfortunately, his latest film looks like it’s destined for the latter category. EW gave I Love You, Beth Cooper, starring Heroes‘ Hayden Panettiere, a positive review, but other notices haven’t been so kind. Let’s hope Columbus has better luck with his next outing.

More Box Office News:

‘Transformers 2′ breaks tie with ‘Ice Age 3′ to win three-day weekend

‘Transformers 2′ and ‘Ice Age 3′ tie for first place…sorta

‘Transformers 2′ wins Friday box office, becomes highest grosser of 2009

‘Transformers 2′ and ‘Ice Age 3′ still neck-and-neck at box office

‘Ice Age 3′ and ‘Transformers 2′ wage holiday weekend war




Comments (25 total) Add your comment
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  • carly

    Cohen is brilliant as he was as Ali G and Borat. Hard to believe its that same actor. There is a related post at

  • Jolie

    I really can’t wait to see it! The other movies to see are Star Trek, Drag Me to Hell, and The Hangover. I really hope the new Harry Potter installment delivers…I’m sure it will.

  • Mike

    Heterosexuals are outsiders with prejudices to homosexuality. They are not capable of knowing what is anti-gay. This movie only serves to validate heterosexuals wrong and bigoted prejudices of gay men.

  • KOZ

    2)Ice Age 3
    3)Transformers 2
    4)Pubic Enemies
    5)The Proposal
    6)I Love You Beth Cooper

  • Gab & Dad

    Check out my review for Bruno, and all the weekend’s hot movies, at

  • Gab & Dad

    Check out my review for Bruno, and all the weekend’s hot movies, at

  • Gab & Dad

    Check out my review for Bruno, and all the weekend’s hot movies, at

  • lise

    im looking forward to seeing bruno, it looks good

  • karen

    There’s only one legitimate place I’ve found to watch it, the rest seem like scams :-/ You can see it over here though:
    They make you do a little survey but after that it’s good to go :)

  • mark/usa


  • Matt2

    Well this weekend I am basically clueless as to what the number one movie will make. If you say 37 million, I say I’m shocked. I’ve seen the trailers but don’t see anything intriguing or enticing about it to make people want to spend money at a theater to see it but the first Sacha Baron Cohen film opened to about 27 million dollars so I’m predicting those same fans will show up again.
    1. Bruno 32 million
    2. Ice Age 3 23 million
    3. Transformers 2 22.5 million
    4. Public Enemies 14.5 million
    5. The Proposal 8.3 million

  • Alicia Ronson
  • Del Mar

    Bruno is a GIANT FLAMING STEREOTYPE. Funny? I doubt 37 Million.

  • Twist

    I hope Bruno lands on Pat Robertson and screws him into a coma. That would be just and funny.

  • Julia

    I just want to skip this whole weekend and fast forward to next week for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Bloood Prince! I know it’s going to be spectacular!

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