Michael Bay’s Transformers Blows Up 4th of July Records


The ComingSoon.net 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.

Any question that the box office was hurting was dispelled over the Fourth of July weekend as one of the most consistent filmmakers behind summer blockbusters, Michael Bay, once again showed his box office dominance with the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Paramount), starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Patrick Dempsey and Alan Tudyk, as it set a number of new records.

Opening on Tuesday at 9pm in IMAX and 3D theaters, the movie brought in $5.5 million before midnight screenings, then added another $37.7 million on Wednesday, which was down nearly 39% from the opening of its predecessor Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen two years prior but also the biggest single day gross of 2011 so far. Helped by the four-day holiday weekend, the movie picked up on Friday with roughly $33 million leading to an estimated $97.4 million over the three-day weekend, besting the previous 4th of July record held by Sony’s Spider-Man 2 with roughly $88 million. That three-day opening may be down 11% from the previous movie’s opening weekend of $109 million, but with a better CinemaScore and reactions from audiences, it certainly picked up business from its opening on Wednesday. Including estimates for the 4th of July Monday, “Dark of the Moon” grossed $116.4 million over the extended four-day weekend bringing its total to $181.1 million for its first six (or so) days. It shouldn’t have any problem becoming the first movie of 2011 to cross the $300 million mark.

Only time will tell if it will surpass Revenge of the Fallen‘s $400 million domestic gross, though. The previous “Transformers” sequel grossed $215 million in its first six days including the non-holiday Monday, while Spider-Man 2 ended up grossing $373 million domestically with a similar amount grossed in its first six days as “Dark of the Moon.”

Internationally, Bay’s latest brought in $235 million since opening earlier in the week, bringing its six-day worldwide total to $416 million. (Read that last bit again: Michael Bay’s new movie has grossed more than $400 million in less than a week!)

Disney•Pixar’s weakly-received Cars 2 brought in $30.5 million in its second weekend, down a distressing 54% even including Monday, proving that audiences may be agreeing with the critics on this one. It has grossed $123 million in its first ten days and it’s not looking very likely to gross $200 million, making it the first Pixar movie since A Bug’s Life not to hit that milestone.

By comparison, the R-rated Cameron Diaz comedy vehicle Bad Teacher dropped only 44% from its opening weekend to the 4th of July, taking in an estimated $17.6 million to bring its 11-day total to $63 million.

Opening in fourth place, the pairing of box office superstars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts for Larry Crowne, also directed by Hanks, failed to excite audiences, as it ended up with just $15.7 million in its first four days, $13 million over the three-day weekend.

Selena Gomez and “Gossip Girl” stars Leighton Meester and Katie Cassidy starred in Tom (The Family Stone) Bezucha’s Monte Carlo (20th Century Fox), a teen girl-targeted comedy that grossed an estimated $8.7 million over its four-day weekend in 2,473 theaters to take sixth place.

It may be somewhat humiliating for DC Entertainment that J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 (Paramount) surpassed the anticipated Green Lantern (Warner Bros.) starring Ryan Reynolds over the holiday weekend, being that the former was heavily advertised in DC Comics’ books last month. Super 8 took fifth place with $9.2 million over the four-day weekend, bringing its total to $110 million, while Green Lantern, out one week less, has now grossed $103.7 million including the $8 million it grossed over the holiday weekend for seventh place.

Jim Carrey’s family comedy Mr. Popper’s Penguins (20th Century Fox) dropped to #8 with $6.8 million and $51.9 million total.

Kristen Wiig’s R-rated comedy Bridesmaids (Universal) continues to do well. It took in another $4.4 million over the four-day weekend to bring its total to $153 million. Besides surpassing all previous Judd Apatow productions this past week, it’s also Universal’s highest-grossing romantic comedy to date and the sixth-highest grossing rom-com ever, as it pulled ahead of the R-rated Sex and the City over the weekend. (It’s also interesting to note that the popular comedy has surpassed the Weekend Warrior’s pre-summer prediction that it would top out at $150 million)

Woody Allen’s own romantic comedy Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics) remained in tenth place with $4.3 million with a total of $34.5 million, making it the fourth-highest grossing movie in the veteran filmmaker’s career.

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