Paramount/DreamWorks’ Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen narrowly held on to the number one spot over the Independence Day holiday period as roughly $42.4m beat Fox’s Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaur’s $41.6m debut.

Preliminary figures released by the studios confirmed one of the closest box office contests in years. Fox’s animated sequel took $66.6m over five days and was the clear winner overseas thanks to a mighty $148m launch that raised the global tally after five days to more than $215m.

The Transformers sequel dropped roughly 60% in its second weekend but overtook Disney/Pixar’s Up to become the biggest domestic release of the year-to-date on $293.4m after two weekends and an extraordinary $591m worldwide.

The top two were too strong for Universal’s gangster thriller Public Enemies from Michael Mann, which stars Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Marion Cotillard and opened third on a nonetheless impressive $26.2m and $41m over five days.

Disney’s romantic comedy The Proposalis nearing $100m in its third weekend and fell two spots to number four on $12.8m for $94.2m, while in fifth place Warner Bros’ hit comedy The Hangover crossed $200m in its fifth weekend after raising the tally by $10.4m for $204.2m.

Up ranks sixth and has taken $264.9m after six weekends while Warner Bros’ drama My Sister’s Keeper dropped 57.8% in its second weekend and fell two places to number seven on $5.3m for $25.9m.

Next weekend’s wide releases are: Universal/Media Rights Capital’s comedy creation Bruno spawned from the imagination of Sacha Baron Cohen and directed by Larry Charles; and Fox’s comedy I Love You, Beth Cooper starring Hayden Panettiere.

Estimated Top 10 North America July 3-5, 2009
Film (Dist)/Int’l dist/Est wkd gross/Est total to date:

1 (1) Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (Paramount/DreamWorks) PPI $42.4m $293.4m
2 (-) Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs (Fox) Fox Int’l $41.6m $66.6m
3 (-) Public Enemies (Universal/Relativity) UPI $26.2m $41m
4 (2) The Proposal (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $12.8m $94.2m
5 (3) The Hangover (Warner Bros/Legendary) WBPI $10.4m $204.2m
6 (4) Up (Buena Vista/Pixar) WDSMPI $6.6m $264.9m
7 (5) My Sister’s Keeper (Warner Bros) NLI $5.3m $25.9m
8 (7) The Taking Of Pelham 123 (Sony) SPRI $2.5m $58.5m
9 (6) Year One (Sony) SPRI $2.1m $38.1m
10 (9) Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian (Fox) Fox Int’l $2.1m $167.8m