Saturday, July 2, 2011

Box Office (07/01/11): Transformers: Dark of the Moon picks up the pace ($32.9m), while Larry Crowne underwhelms and Cars 2 crashes.

First, the good news... Transformers: Dark of the Moon grossed a massive $32.9 million on Friday.  That's $11 more than the first Transformers film grossed on its first Friday and just $4 million less than Revenge of the Fallen (despite the first sequel having a $20 million-bigger opening day than this latest installment).  It went up about 50% from Thursday to Friday, the biggest such jump in the franchise.  It's also the third-biggest non-opening Friday in history, behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($36 million) and Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith ($33.5 million).  Point being, it's clear that many fans (and general moviegoers) were just waiting for the regular weekend to check out the latest installment.  The film has grossed $97 million since Wednesday, making it technically the biggest three-day gross of 2011.  It has an outside shot at becoming the first $100 million Fri-Sun debut, especially as Monday is a holiday (hence Sunday acts like Saturday).  But whether it ends up with $165 million by Monday or $185 million by Monday, the film is also doing gangbusters business overseas.  The total worldwide six-day debut looks to be in the neighborhood of $400 million.

The other debut, Larry Crowne, debuted with a mediocre but not-catastrophic $4 million yesterday.  While pundits will bemoan the fact that this won't open to the upper-echelons of the Julia Roberts and/or Tom Hanks filmographies, it only cost $30 million to produce and it should make a little over half-that by Monday.  Monte Carlo debuted with $3 million, so the $20 million rom-com should make about half its budget by Monday as well.   Bad Teacher dropped a heavy 63% in its second Friday, but the $30 million film will still cross $50 million today.  Bridesmaids now sits at $150 million and Super 8 crossed $100 million today.  In more shocking news, Pixar's Cars 2 dropped an eye-popping 69% from last Friday, going from $25.5 million last Friday to $7.7 million this Friday.  Before we panic and/or mock (don't be that jerk...), let's remember that the film will surely recover during this kid-friendly weekend, and that the film will cross $100 million and $150 million worldwide today.  So the massive drop (and what it portends for the long-term domestic box office) is more of a moral defeat for Pixar than an actual one.  Oh, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will likely cross $1 billion today, so Disney should be fine.

Scott Mendelson

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