IT'S TRANSFORMERS 2 -- BY A NOSE

In a nip-and-tuck weekend race that appeared too close to call as of Sunday, Paramount/DreamWorks's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ultimately got its revenge Sunday against Fox's Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs as it came from behind to win the three-day contest at the box office. The Transformers sequel grossed $42,320,877, edging out the Ice Age sequel, which took in $41,690,382. Ice Age was entitled to some bragging rights of its own, however. Over the five-day Independence Day holiday period, it took in $66,732,868 to Transformers' $64,914,666. It also slightly bested Transformers on a per-screen basis. It was helped by premium pricing at 3D venues, which helped offset lower ticket prices for children. (Overseas, there was no contest, with Ice Age nailing $148 million over the five days in 101 countries, including 16 where it broke opening records.) Universal's Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp, also had a solid opening, earning $25,271,675 over the three-day weekend and $40,141,080 over the five-day. Disney's The Proposal came in fourth in its fourth week with $12,857,482, while Warner Bros.' The Hangover settled for fifth with $11,268,413. Meanwhile, Disney/Pixar's Up remained solid on the box-office chart after six weeks, coming in sixth with $6,521,389.

The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date):

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Paramount/DreamWorks, $42,320,877, 2 Wks. ($293,355,885); 2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, 20th Century Fox, $41,690,382, 1 Wk. ($66,732,868 -- From Wednesday); 3. Public Enemies, Universal, $25,271,675, 1 Wk. ($40,141,080 -- From Wednesday); 4. The Proposal, Disney, $12,857,482, 3 Wks. ($94,335,111); 5. The Hangover, Warner Bros., $11,268,413, 5 Wks. ($205,038,233); 6. Up, Disney, $6,521,389, 6 Wks. ($264,816,694); 7. My Sister's Keeper, Warner Bros., $5,788,327, 2 Wks. ($26,518,582); 8. Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Sony, $2,534,228, 4 Wks. ($58,508,070); 9. Year One, Sony, $2,323,843, 3 Wks. ($38,304,392); 10. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, 20th Century Fox, $2,043,288, 7 Wks. ($167,706,959.)

ICE AGE DOMINATES U.K. CINEMAS

In the U.K. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs iced the second-largest opening take of the year, earning $12.35 million -- more than the rest of the top-ten films combined. Analysts attributed the success to the rapidly expanding number of digital 3D screens in the U.K., which have risen from 88 in January to 237 currently. Ice Age was not able to land any IMAX venues, which are still playing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in Britain as well as the U.S. Also opening strongly was Michael Mann's Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp, which opened with $3.61 million.

INDIE FILM CREW BUSTED IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Eight young independent filmmakers have been arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina after witnesses saw them filming a scene in which an actress appeared to be "fellating or simulating fellatio" on an actor, TheSmokingGun.com reported today (Tuesday). The group was reportedly filming a movie titled Beach Week, a comedy about a group of college students coming together during spring break. One of the filmmakers insisted that "there was nothing illegal going on." A police report noted that the witnesses (referred to in the report as the "victims") saw no nudity. In a demonstration of art imitating life imitating art, the scene in question was to have concluded with an actor portraying a cop issuing a summons to the actor and actress for "their inappropriate display of affection." A jacket embroidered with the word "Police" was confiscated by the arresting officers, who also seized the crew's camera equipment and the Beach Week script.

WILL GLICKMAN LEAVE MPAA TO MAKE A SENATE RUN?

MPAA chief Dan Glickman may be considering stepping down in order to run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas next year, Politico.com reported Monday. In an interview with the website, Glickman, who lost his Congressional seat to Republican Todd Tiahrt in 1994, indicated that he had been approached to enter the Democratic primary. Asked whether he was flirting with the idea of doing so, he replied, "I would say 'flirting' is too strong a word." However, he acknowledged that he was "interested" in the proposal, although the chances of his accepting it were "extremely remote." Nevertheless, he added, "Being a U.S. senator is still one of the best jobs in the world. I wouldn't deny that."

Cinemark Movie Club