Brüno's weekend box office opening is a perfect example of how a movie can be a "success" and "a disappointment" in Hollywood, said Ben Fritz in the Los Angeles Times. The "outrageous" comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen as a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashionista took the No. 1 spot, hauling in $30.4 million. But "after a strong start on Friday," domestic ticket sales dropped 39 percent on Saturday. "Such a huge drop is rare and almost always a harbinger of bad buzz and a short box office run for a film." (watch the trailer for Bruno)
It's obvious that "many of Cohen's fans rushed to see Brüno on its opening day," said John Young in Entertainment Weekly, "but that considerable Friday-to-Saturday drop" seems to "indicate poor word-of-mouth." Brüno did outperform Cohen's last "mockumentary," Borat, which opened to $26.5 million. But "Brüno started its run on more than three times as many screens as Borat—all indicators point to Brüno struggling to match Borat's cumulative gross of $128.5 million." (watch the trailer for Borat)
But it's still too early to tell, said David Germain in the Associated Press. We'll "have to wait until next weekend for a sense of how well Brüno can hold up for the long haul." The movie did take in an additional "$25 million in overseas markets so far." And "even if revenues continue to plunge, Brüno is well on its way to turning a profit for Universal, which paid $42.5 million for rights to distribute it domestically and in eight other territories."