Sandra Bullock tops box office after 10 years

Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:33pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sandra Bullock achieved her first No. 1 movie in 10 years at the weekend box office as moviegoers across the United States and Canada said yes to "The Proposal," which also marked her biggest opening.

The Walt Disney Co romantic comedy sold an estimated $34.1 million worth of tickets during the three-day period beginning June 19, the company said on Sunday.

"It definitely met and exceeded our expectations," said Mark Zoradi, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Group. "In a summer with a lot of sequels, it's always nice to have an original movie."

"The Proposal" also earned $10 million from 10 foreign markets, with No. 1 bows in Australia ($3.3 million) and Russia ($2.8 million) leading the way.

Bullock last went to No. 1 in North America with the 1999 film "Forces of Nature," which co-starred Ben Affleck. Her previous best opening was $17.6 million for her most recent film, "Premonition," in March 2007.

The 44-year-old actress stars as a book executive who fakes an engagement to her lowly assistant (Ryan Reynolds) to avoid deportation to her native Canada. The laughs ensue when she meets his parents, with "Golden Girls" veteran Betty White stealing the show. Anne Fletcher ("27 Dresses") directed. Disney declined to reveal the budget.

Critics' reviews were mixed, but exit surveys were strong, Disney said. Men accounted for 37 percent of the audience, a surprisingly large turnout for a romantic comedy.

Its reign likely will be short-lived, though, with "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" opening worldwide on Wednesday through Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures.

"HANGOVER" PERSISTS   Continued...

<p>Cast member Sandra Bullock attends the premiere of the film "The Proposal" in Los Angeles June 1, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>