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A 1-2 Punch For Bruckheimer

Recording artist Barbara Mandrell appears on stage at the 43rd Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009.
AP
This weekend's movie box office was up 33 percent from the same weekend last year - and movie theaters might want to thank producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Bruckheimer produced both this weekend's top film, "Bad Boys 2" starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and the weekend's No. 2 film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." "Bad Boys" took in $46.7 million, trailed by "Pirates" with $33.3 million. Sean Connery's "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" finished in third place, earning $10.1 million.

"To take the No. 1 and 2 positions, which I don't think any producer has ever done in history, it's spectacular," said Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, which released "Pirates of the Caribbean." "It goes to show that Jerry is the premiere producer in America, and he just keeps delivering."

The weekend's other new wide releases had so-so debuts. Rowan Atkinson's spy comedy "Johnny English," already a $100-million hit overseas, opened in fourth place with $9.3 million. And Mandy Moore's teen melodrama "How to Deal" premiered at No. 8 with $5.8 million.

In limited release, director Stephen Frears' "Dirty Pretty Things" opened strongly with $101,000 in five theaters. Starring Audrey Tautou in a dark thriller about a human-organ black market centered at a London hotel, the film expands to more theaters Aug. 1.

"Bad Boys II" reunited Bruckheimer, director Michael Bay and stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the team behind 1995's action comedy "Bad Boys." By the end of its first week, "Bad Boys II" should pass the $65.8 million total gross of the original movie, said Jeff Blake, vice chairman at Sony Pictures, which released both pictures.

The sequel pits Smith's and Lawrence's trash-talking police partners against an Ecstasy-smuggling ring. The movie overcame harsh reviews from critics, with many calling the action mean-spirited and the violence too far over the top.

"It's anything but a mean-spirited picture," Blake said. "Clearly, the public is having a lot of fun with it. It is over-the-top action, but it's got so many laughs."

"Pirates of the Caribbean" pushed its 12-day total to $132.2 million and is on the way to becoming the year's fifth movie to top $200 million.

The year's top-grossing movie, the animated fish tale "Finding Nemo," had a $7.3 million weekend to cross the $300 million mark.

The following are the numbers according to Hollywood.com:

  • "Bad Boys II," $46.7 million.
  • "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,"
    $33.3 million.
  • "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen," $10.1 million.
  • "Johnny English," $9.3 million.
  • "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," $9.2 million.
  • "Finding Nemo," $7.3 million.
  • "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde," $6.1 million.
  • "How to Deal," $5.8 million.
  • "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," $3.7 million.
  • "28 Days Later," $2.55 million.