Bay’s Giant Robot Sequel Blows Up the Box Office!


The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Going into the weekend, there was no doubt Michael Bay’s anticipated sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, would be huge, though few thought it could open as big as last summer’s biggest blockbuster, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, at least not based on the awful reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. After grossing just over $60 million on Wednesday (a record for the weekday opening) and another $29 million on Thursday, the sequel brought in an estimated $112 million over the weekend for a total of $201.2 million in its first five days. Besides setting a record for a June opening, surpassing 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Bay’s latest grossed the second-largest amount over a five-day period after The Dark Knight‘s $203.8 million. The IMAX Corporation reports that the movie had the best five-day gross, grossing $14.4 million in its first five days on 169 IMAX screens, nearly double what the 5th “Harry Potter” movie did two years ago. “Revenge of the Fallen” became the third-largest worldwide opening weekend grosser, earning $274 million and beating out last summer’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The film has become Paramount’s biggest international opener of all time, again besting “Indy 4” for the top honor, and ranking as the industry’s fourth-biggest opening of all time abroad. The sequel has taken in $387 million worldwide to date.

The Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds rom-com The Proposal (Disney/Touchstone) dropped to second place, off 45% from its opening weekend with $18.5 million and a ten-day total of $69 million. Todd Phillips’ hit comedy The Hangover (Warner Bros.) dropped to third place with $17.2 million and a total gross of $183 million, making it the third-highest grossing R-rated comedy. It has the breakout R-rated comedy Wedding Crashers in its sights and will pass it sometime in the next few weeks.

With roughly $13 million grossed over the weekend, Disney•Pixar’s animated-adventure Up became the top grossing movie of 2009, surpassing J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek with a total gross of $250 million after five weeks. It’s currently the fourth-highest grossing movie for Pixar Animation, although it should move into second place behind Finding Nemo sometime next month.

Offered as counter-programming to Bay’s latest explosion-filled epic was Nick (The Notebook) Cassavetes’ adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper (New Line/WB) starring Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin, which opened with an estimated $12 million in 2,606 theaters, averaging $4,616 per location.

The Sony comedy Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, tanked in its second weekend, dropping 70% to sixth place with $5.8 million and a ten-day total of $32.2 million. Sony’s other summer offering, Tony Scott’s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, took seventh place with $5.4 million and a total of $53.4 million, compared to its reported production budget of $100 million.

J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek (Paramount) took eighth place with $3.6 million, bringing its total to $246 million, while Ben Stiller’s comedy sequel Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (20th Century Fox) dropped to ninth place with $3.5 million and a total gross of $163 million.

Sam Mendes’ road comedy Away We Go, starring Jon Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, expanded into 495 theaters, allowing it to break into the Top 10 with $1.7 million and a four-week total of $4 million.

The Top 10 grossed almost $193 million, making it the top grossing three-day weekend for 2009, up 9% from this weekend last year when Pixar’s WALL•E and Timur Bekmambetov’s Wanted dominated with $113 million between them.

Opening in limited release was Stephen Frears’ period comedy Chéri, reteaming him with Michelle Pfeiffer for the first time since Dangerous Liaisons, and it grossed $408 thousand in 76 theaters, averaging roughly $5 thousand per venue. Kathryn Bigelow’s bomb-squad thriller The Hurt Locker (Summit) opened in four theaters in New York and L.A. where it grossed $144 thousand, or $36k per site.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.