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Surprise, Surprise! Transformers: Dark of the Moon absolutuely crushed the box office, setting a new record for the July 4th
holiday weekend. Optimus Prime and his band of blurry,
hard-to-distinguish autobot heroes crushed the $88 million record set by
Spiderman 2 in 2004. The little seen Shockwave and Megatron
persuaded enough moviegoers to earn a huge $97.5 million open and
approximately $116 million including the holiday. Thanks to Tuesday
sneak peaks and a midweek opening, the final installment of the trilogy
has already banked $162 million domestic.
The original Transformers made $70 million in its first weekend and earned $319 million domestic. “Revenge of the Fallen” the lambasted sequel, made $108.9 million at its debut and $402 million domestic. I predict “Dark of the Moon” will be the most successful of the franchise worldwide thanks to 3D premiums, IMAX, and most of all foreign markets. That foreign clientele racked up an astounding $210 million this weekend, which could lead to as much as $600 million by the close of release overseas. The debut was only second to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which made nearly $800 million internationally.
When a movie does really well, get ready for a sequel! So what if Michael Bay says he is done with the franchise? This series can survive (and might even be better) without him. This is not the sort of thing that needs a reboot. Simply continue the story under new direction, and a better writing and editing team. Let me officially suggest Zack Snyder for the job. Light on story and big on cool action, Snyder needs redemption and this tentpole may be an answer to prayer.
The Top Ten
1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - $97.5M (weekend)…$162.2M (gross)
2. Cars 2 - $26.1M…$117.1M
3. Bad Teacher - $14.5M…$59.9M
4. Larry Crowne - $13.1M…$13.1M
5. Super 8 - $7.8M…$108.3M
6. Monte Carlo - $7.4M…$7.4M
7. Green Lantern - $6.5M …$102.2M
8. Mr. Popper’s Penguins - $5.4M…$50.4M
9. Bridesmaids - $3.6M…$153.0M
10. Midnight in Paris - $3.5M …$33.7M
Both Larry Crowne and Monte Carlo were duds in theaters. Tom Hanks' and Julia Roberts' stale, romantic comedy barely made $13.1 million over the three day weekend. While it came in at fourth place, the tween comedy entered in at sixth with $7.4 million. Both of last week’s top picks were sandwiched into second and third. Cars 2 now stands at $117 million, after adding a quarter to its tank. Bad Teacher managed $14 million, and now stands at a satisfactory $60 million. Its doppelganger Bridesmaids just keeps at it, managing a respectable $153 million in its dark-horse run. In other news, both Super 8 and Green Lantern squeaked past the $100 million milestone.
Let's look at next week. Horrible Bosses, directed by Seth Gordon, features a large and likable cast and premise. Jennifer Aniston looks to be in tip top shape here, while Kevin Spacey and Colin Farrell fill out their parts a little too well. This small picture is going to get buried in the upcoming weekend due to a poor release window. If it is lucky, it will end near Bridesmaids or Bad Teacher rather than Larry Crowne or Monte Carlo.
Kevin James is on quite a hot streak. There comes a time when the odds are simply stacked against someone. What looks to be his dumbest project to date, James plays the bumbling zookeeper who is trying to impress the girl of his dreams with use of animals. Zookeeper will open on 3,300 screens, delighting audiences with vomit-inducing subgenre comedy also known as talking animal live action. The director has decent credits and usually features Adam Sandler. Ergo, this big fish, has some legs. However, talking animal movies have random success. While cute little chipmunks do well one year, giant loafing dogs in Marmaduke fail the next.
I predict Zookeeper will top Horrible Bosses, however both will succumb to Bumblebee and the Witwicky gang in the end. To add insult to injury, two movies of the same genre debut opposite one another for the second straight week. Not good. See you at the movies!