Bullock and Reynolds' "The Proposal" took in $34.1 million to open as the weekend's No. 1 movie, according to studio estimates Sunday. The Disney flick delivered the biggest opening ever for Bullock, nearly double that of her previous best of $17.6 million for the 2007 paranormal thriller "Premonition."
Bullock stars as a ruthless publishing executive who coerces her put-upon assistant (Reynolds) into a fake marriage so she can avoid deportation back to her native Canada.
"I think the market was ready for a really fun, broad romantic comedy," said Mark Zoradi, president of Disney's motion-picture group.
"The Proposal" took over the top spot from the Warner Bros. bachelor-party comedy "The Hangover," which slipped to second place with $26.9 million. A surprise smash hit, "The Hangover" raised its total to $152.9 million.
It was summer's second big-name comedy set in prehistoric times to take a back seat to a wedding-themed romp. Will Ferrell's "Land of the Lost" opened at No. 3 in early June, the same weekend "The Hangover" pulled off a No. 1 upset.
"June is officially comedy month at the theaters. Comedy is really ruling things," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.
Woody Allen's latest comedy, "Whatever Works," had a strong start in limited release, hauling in $280,720 in nine theaters for an average of $31,191 a cinema. That compares to an average of $11,163 in 3,056 theaters for "The Proposal" and $6,684 in 3,022 cinemas for "Year One."
Released by Sony Pictures Classics, "Whatever Works" stars Larry David as a misanthropic New Yorker who forges unlikely relationships with a conservative Southern family (Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson and Ed Begley Jr.).
While some of June's comedies performed well, the month generally has been a downer for Hollywood, which tore through the first part of the year with a record box-office pace.
Revenues this weekend were up slightly compared to the same period a year ago, but that followed three straight weekends of declining box-office receipts.
For the year, revenue remains up a solid 10 percent, though summer ticket sales are dead even with last year's, Dergarabedian said.
That should turn around this coming weekend with the debut of the blockbuster sequel "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which industry analysts say could deliver the year's first $100 million opening.
Here are the weekend estimates according to Box Office Mojo. Final figures will be released on Monday.
1. "The Proposal," $34.1 million.
2. "The Hangover," $26.9 million, $152.9 million to date.
3. "Up," $21.3 million, $224 million to date.
3. "Year One," $20.2 million.
5. "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," $11.3 million, $43.3 million to date.
6. "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," $7.3 million, $155.9 mlllion to date.
7. "Star Trek," $4.7 million, $239 million to date.
8. "Land of the Lost," $4 million, $43.6 million to date.
9. "Imagine That," $3.1 million, $11.3 million to date.
10. "Terminator Salvation," $3.07 million, $119 million to date.
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