Saturday Box Office: ‘Ice Age’ Tries to Freeze Out ‘Transformers’

1. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” ($11.5 million)
2. “Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” ($11.1 million)
3. “Public Enemies” ($6.6 million)
4. “The Proposal” ($5.2 million)
5. “The Hangover” ($4.4 million)

Box office watchers have been predicting an easy weekend win for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” but never underestimate the cute critters of the “Ice Age” saga. Their latest adventure, “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” nearly put a freeze on the ongoing rampage of “Transformers” but fell short for Friday audiences by a few million.

“Transformers” took in another $11.5 million, putting its 9 day cumulative box office take at $250.9 million going into the holiday weekend. “Ice Age” did $11.1 million on its opening night. Box office analysts are predicting that the dueling blockbusters will be judged in a photo finish come Monday morning.

Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” didn’t exactly hold up the box office. The Johnny Depp-led period gangster flick did solid Friday business with $6.6 million earned in the #3 spot, bringing it to $14.8 million in ticket sales since opening wide on Wednesday. According to Nikke Finke of Deadline Hollywood Dailythe gangster drama is well on its way to exceeding Universal’s $30 million dollar expectations by Sunday.

“Despite strong tracking and positive reviews, Universal had been nervous about the debut of Public Enemies because so many adult-oriented pics have failed in recent weeks… but the well marketed combination of Michael Mann and Johnny Depp is luring adult filmgoers hungry for another original and artistic crime saga which is a rarity in this summer of remakes, reboots and reheated sequels,” Finke said.

The top five finally saw “Up” float away, with “The Proposal” and “The Hangover” holding on against Johnny Depp, prehistoric critters and giant fighting robots. The two comedies clocked in at #4 and #5 respectively. “The Proposal” took another $5.2 million, with grosses totaling $86.6 million going into the Independence Day stretch.

“The Hangover” parties on through the holiday and will finally cross the coveted $200 million mark, as Box Office Mojo is estimating that the Todd Philips comedy is teetering on a cumulative total of $198.2 million. Expect everything to slow down on Saturday though, as audiences seek out real live fireworks over the ones to be found on the big screen.