The Adam Sandler comedy “Funny People” debuted to the top spot at the box office this weekend, according to estimates from studio trackers Nielsen EDI. The film took in $23.4 million, well ahead of the second place “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, which came in at $17.7 million. After three weeks in theaters, Harry Potter has accumulated a total of $255.5 million.

Directed by Judd Apatow (“The 40 Year-Old Virgin”), “Funny People” provides a look at the inner lives of, well, funny people. Reviewers are giving the film thumbs up for its fine acting by Sandler and co-star Seth Rogen, who plays a wannabe comedian who becomes the successful-but-lonely Sandler character’s sounding board after he finds out he has a nearly incurable cancer. This is not exactly funny fare, and other reviewers characterize the film as an essentially dramatic dark comedy with moments of great comedy provided by excellent actors.

“G-Force”, Jerry Bruckheimer computer-generated spoof of the spy genre, earned a close third with $17 million, scoring $66.5 million in its second week out. Meanwhile, the Sony’s “The Ugly Truth” reaped $14 million, bringing the Katherine Heigl romantic comedy about a morning talk show host’s search for love in at fourth place. The comedy “Aliens in the Attic” debuted to fifth place with $7.8 million.

Final figures are due Monday.

Box Office Grosses
Week Ending August 2, 2009

Rank Title Weekend Total Gross
1 Funny People (2009) $23.4M $23.4M
2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) $17.7M $255M
3 G-Force (2009) $17.1M $66.5M
4 The Ugly Truth (2009) $13M $54.5M
5 Aliens in the Attic (2009) $7.8M $7.8M
6 Orphan (2009) $7.25M $26.8M
7 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) $5.3M $182M
8 The Hangover (2009) $5.08M $256M
9 The Proposal (2009) $4.85M $149M
10 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $4.6M $388M