Bruno sashays to box-office fame with $30.4 million

Gay Austrian fashion devotee Bruno has landed the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office, though it’s uncertain how much staying power he has.

Sacha Baron Cohen portrays the title role character in Bruno.

LOS ANGELES — Gay Austrian fashion devotee Bruno has landed the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office, though it’s uncertain how much staying power he has.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno started big on opening day Friday but had a huge drop the rest of the weekend, with the Universal Pictures mock documentary finishing with $30.4 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The movie took in nearly half of its weekend total — $14.4 million — on Friday, then tumbled with just $8.8 million Saturday and an estimated $7.2 million Sunday.

Revenues for hit movies typically go up on Saturday, so the nosedive for Bruno could be a sign that it lacks the shelf life that made Baron Cohen’s Borat, a $100 million smash.

“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,” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. “It’s going to be interesting to see how it does over the long run.”

Bruno” which features Baron Cohen as a wannabe going to extremes to achieve celebrity, finished ahead of 20th Century Fox’s Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which took second with $28.5 million. The “Ice Age” sequel raised its domestic total to $120.6 million.

Finishing third after two weekends in the No. 1 spot was Paramount’s sci-fi blockbuster Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with $24 million, raising its domestic haul to $339 million. The sequel passed the $319 million total of 2007’s Transformers.

The weekend’s other new wide release, 20th Century Fox’s romantic comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper opened weakly with $5 million, finishing at No. 7. The movie centers on a high school valedictorian who uses his graduation speech to declare his love for a bombshell classmate (Hayden Panettiere).

Bruno outpaced the $26.5 million opening weekend for Baron Cohen’s surprise 2006 hit Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

Borat started with $9.2 million on opening day Friday then climbed to $10.1 million Saturday, a sign that fans were talking it up to friends.

That good word-of-mouth propelled Borat to a long run at theaters, the movie climbing to a $128.5 million domestic total.

Borat also scored its big opening weekend in far fewer theaters. Bruno debuted in 2,756 cinemas, more than three times the number for Borat.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com.

1. Bruno, $30.4 million.

2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, $28.5 million.

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, $24 million.

4. Public Enemies, $14.1 million.

5. The Proposal, $10.5 million.

6. The Hangover, $9.9 million.

7. I Love You, Beth Cooper, $5 million.

8. Up, $4.7 million.

9. My Sister’s Keeper, $4.2 million.

10. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, $1.6 million.

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