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Summer took a box office breather this weekend, letting a couple of non-blockbuster comedies take the lime light before another string of big-budget sequels and franchise entries storm theaters over the next few weeks.
Newcomers Horrible Bosses and Zookeeper made respectable debuts in second and third place with $28 million and $21 million respectively, but it was only good news for one of them.
Horrible Bosses, which shrewdly managed some top names while keeping its budget to a profitable $35 million, is well on its way to breaking into the black. On the other hand, Zookeeper and its CG enhanced talking animals rolled out on a heftier $80 million budget, leaving Kevin James' second headline movie in a bad way financially.
But don't count James out yet. Paul Blart, which was no less comedically flaccid than Zookeeper, opened two years ago with $31 million but went on to make nearly five times that amount in domestic sales.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon held on tight to number one, banking an additional $47 million over the weekend. That brings its total domestic sales to $261 million, pushing it past The Hangover 2's $250 million running total to be highest grossing film of 2011 to date.
For the full weekend top ten list, check out the chart below: