‘G-Force’ Blasts ‘Harry Potter’ From Box-Office Throne

Disney's 3-D guinea pigs surpass 'Half-Blood Prince' and 'The Ugly Truth' in opening weekend.

Box-Office Top Five

#1 [movie id="368071"]“G-Force”[/movie] ($32.2 million)
#2 [movie id="307087"]“Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”[/movie] ($30 million)
#3 [movie id="374011"]“The Ugly Truth”[/movie] ($27 million)
#4 [movie id="375202"]“Orphan”[/movie] ($12.8 million)
#5 [movie id="349031"]“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”[/movie] ($8.2 million)

The magic of Harry Potter wasn’t strong enough to ward off Jerry Bruckheimer’s guinea pigs at movie theaters this weekend. Disney’s 3-D crowd pleaser “G-Force” topped the box office with $32.2 million, exceeding all expectations and knocking “Harry Potter” right off his high-flying broomstick.

But the boy wizard wasn’t completely out of the running. Though his box-office receipts dropped a startling 61 percent from his debut, “Harry Potter” still managed to do $30 million in his sophomore session and a cumulative $222 million after just 12 days. Warner Bros. also expects a box-office boost thanks to “Harry Potter” finally getting its big IMAX bow and expanding to 160 venues this week.

Guinea pigs and wizards were more popular than “The Ugly Truth,” though the Sony comedy did enjoy a strong $27 million opening. The raunchy R-rated comedy didn’t receive the best reviews from critics, but the combination of Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler was clearly just what older audiences were craving in a weekend of child-friendly fare. On the other hand, “Orphan” was apparently too dark for a summer weekend. The horror flick opened softly to only $12.8 million and a #4 spot at the box office.

On the limited-release front, IFC’s “In the Loop” had a lucky debut, opening at only eight theaters to earn a solid $200,818. Roadside Attraction’s “Shrink” bowed in only two theaters to gross $17,000, while “(500) Days of Summer” expanded to 85 locations and totaled $1.8 million. The well-received indie comedy has a gross of $3 million so far and is scheduled to expand to 300 venues on Friday.

Though just about all the newcomers went home happy, it was a relatively quiet weekend at the multiplex, and grosses were down 19 percent. But 2009′s box office is still tracking 9 percent higher than last year, so while the summer season may be quickly cooling, business remains strong in Tinseltown.

Upcoming Releases

Fox’s family adventure “Aliens in the Attic” goes wide Friday, as does Universal’s “Funny People,” the latest comedy from Judd Apatow.

Check out everything we’ve got on “G-Force,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and “The Ugly Truth.”

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