UPDATED: *Universal’s frowns turned to high-fives this weekend because America wanted a laugh at movie theaters and made the studio’s romantic comedy the third biggest of all time. It turns out the Vince Vaughn-Jennifer Aniston comedy that had been tracking less than satisfactorily — and reviewed even worse, prompting all those showbiz cynics to ask whether Jen can really be a movie star — is a hit at the box office. The Break-Up had a $38 million opening weekend, compared to 2nd-week-out X-Men 3‘s $34 mil, Over the Hedge‘s $21 mil and 3rd-week-out Da Vinci Code‘s $17 mil. Saturday’s box office went up from Friday’s: $14.6 for Universal’s comedy (Sunday estimate of $9.2 mil), $14.2 for 20th Century Fox’s comic book caper (Sunday est. $10.0 mil), $8.8 for Dreamworks/Paramount’s toon (Sunday est. $6.1 mil), and $8 mil for Sony’s religious thriller (Sunday est. $5.9 mil). Da Vinci was the No. 1 movie again overseas, taking in another $51 mil for an international total of $409 mil. The flick is about to pass Spiderman ($415 mil) and Spiderman 2 ($410 mil ) as Sony/Columbia’s biggest international release ever. It’s also the #2 top-grossing Hollywood film in Italy passing The Passion of the Christ and behind only Titanic. Worldwide, DVC had a $70 mil weekend to put worldwide cume at $581 mil.*

My sources are telling me early numbers say The Break-Up opened with a domestic take of $13.7 million Friday, which is prompting the studio to revise upwards their initial weekend opening estimate of $28 mil to a new estimated total of $38 mil. Who’d a thunk it! For this comedy especially nowadays, that’s much more than respectable; that’s a miracle. Either Jen has developed a film fanbase, or else Vince is packing ’em in. But I think America is just starved for comedy, any comedy, even a half-baked not-really-satisfying bickering-Bickersons comedy. And Uni’s lethal marketing department brought it to audiences in the right away. It’s Uni’s biggest opening for ’06 and the industry’s highest-grossing romantic comedy for the opening weekend in the month of June. “Imagine what the b.o. could have been if this movie had been really great,” an insider tells me. Attendance for 20th Century Fox’s X-Men 3 went down 77% for a still kicking 2nd-Friday $10.4 mil haul. Dreamworks/Paramount’s Over the Hedge went down 31% and took in $5.2 mil. And Sony’s Da Vinci Code was a close fourth with $5.1 mil. (But that’s in this country where pretty much only adults are seeing it. DVC is still doing boffo box office overseas. See below!) Meanwhile, Paramount’s MI3 remains on life support with $1.2 mil. The Break-Up just opened in U.S. this weekend. Thanks to international audiences, Da Vinci hit the $500 mil mark worldwide Thursday (just as my sources told me it would…) Friday, DVC was off 52% and XM3 66%. But Sony’s religious thriller has a total $350 mil foreign and 20th’s comic book caper $100 mil.

Previous: Da Vinci Code Hits $500 Million This Week, UPDATED: X-M3 Busts Record For Biggest Mem Weekend Opening Ever; But Da Vinci Bigger Overseas and Set for Half-Billion $$$ Gross Worldwide This Week