'Transformers' edges past 'Ice Age'

Monday estimates give 'Transformers' boxoffice win

Final studio data has transformed a tentative tie for boxoffice supremacy to a clear weekend victory for Paramount's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which topped the domestic pack with $42.3 million.

Fox's "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" ended up in second place with $41.7 million in Friday-Sunday boxoffice. On Sunday, both studios estimated that their pics had taken in a chart-topping $42.5 million during the three-day Fourth of July frame.

Nobody was faulting Fox for overestimating its Sunday grosses as several other studios showed the battle for first place too close to call initially. Nielsen EDI released studios' final official data midday Monday.

Friday was the most lucrative day of the weekend for all films. Boxoffice sagged a bit on Saturday thanks to competition from holiday barbecues and fireworks.

The repeat No. 1 performance gives the "Transformers" sequel a $293.4 million cume for its first 12 days in domestic release. The "Ice Age" threequel boasts a $66.7 million cume since unspooling Wednesday.

Helmed by Michael Bay and toplined by Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, the "Transformers" sequel dropped 61% from its first-weekend tally during the most recent frame. But Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said the performance still shows the pic should display "great playability over the next several weeks."

Certainly, the market conditions would seem ripe for another lucrative few sessions.

Two pics are set to open wide Friday: Fox's Chris Columbus-helmed high school comedy "I Love You, Beth Cooper" and Sacha Baron Cohen's latest R-rated comedy "Bruno" from Universal. But there are no pure action movies scheduled to unspool until Paramount debuts "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" on Aug. 7.

One other film bowed wide this past weekend. Universal's Johnny Depp starrer "Public Enemies" registered $25.3 million for the weekend, good for third place during the three-day session and $40.1 million since a Wednesday bow.

Produced by Paramount, DreamWorks and Hasbro, "Transformers" totes a $200 million negative cost. Production costs for "Ice Age" are estimated at $90 million and $100 million for "Enemies."

All three have mounted simultaneous international campaigns of various scopes.

The "Transformers" sequel boasts a worldwide cume of $591 million and counting. "Ice Age" and "Enemies" have global tallies of $215 million and $46 million, respectively.