To the surprise of no one, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” easily won the weekend box office, raking in a projected $97.4 million from Friday to Sunday, and $162.1 million since it opened in theaters Wednesday
Although that might not be quite as much as the second “Transformers” movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” Shia LaBeouf had a decidedly better weekend revenue-wise than Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Selena Gomez.
Details — including tidbits involving Pixar and Cameron Diaz, a rundown of the top five movies and a box office prediction poll — after the jump.
“Transformers” has a record-breaking weekend. But, naturally, there’s more to that than meets the eye.
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” set a Fourth of July holiday weekend record, according to Box Office Mojo, with its $97.4 million outperforming the previous benchmark, held by “Spider-Man 2’s” $88.2 million.
It grossed even more overseas, earning $210 million so far, for a worldwide total of $372.1 million. Apparently non-Americans like Michael Bay even more than those who fly the red, white and blue.
In slightly more sobering news for movies that feature apocalypse-causing mega-robots, “Dark of the Moon” did not do as well in North America as its predecessor, “Revenge of the Fallen,” which brought in $108.9 during its opening weekend, and more than $200 million after its first five days in release, significantly more than this third “Transformers” film.
Also, 60 percent of the “Dark of the Moon” money came from 3-D screenings, a positive sign for a format whose popularity seemed to be slipping this summer. But that fact also dampens the impact of that Fourth of July record. As Box Office Mojo points out, the attendance for “Dark of the Moon” was more than 10 percent lower than ”Spider-Man 2’s” attendance.
Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts fail to demonstrate box office clout.
Despite conducting a “Larry Crowne” publicity tour that was, as we previously established here in Celebritology, a pure delight, Tom Hanks didn’t score at the box office. Even with an assist from Julia Roberts, there was little interest in “Crowne,” which earned just $13 million at the box office. That’s a slight improvement over the opening Hanks and Roberts managed the last time they starred together in a film; “Charlie Wilson’s War” debuted to only $9.6 million back in 2007.
Still, it’s further proof that even the biggest movie stars can’t carry a film; with its tepid reviews and corny commercials, “Larry Crowne” didn’t connect.
Selena Gomez didn’t have much box office luck, either.
You may not have been aware that “Monte Carlo” opened over the weekend, a rom-com featuring Leighton Meester and, in an obvious bid for Oscar attention, Selena Gomez in a dual role. Well, plenty of moviegoers also seemed unaware; it landed in fifth place with just $7.6 million. (This also was a slight bummer for Nicole Kidman, who was a producer on the project.) Was this poor box office performance part of a clandestine, anti-Gomez effort spearheaded by Justin Bieber fans? You make the call.
Additional shout-outs to: Pixar, Cameron Diaz and J.J. Abrams.
Business for Pixar’s “Cars 2” dropped significantly, by more than 60 percent, but the sequel has crossed the $100 million mark and now earned more than $198 million worldwide.
Cameron Diaz’s “Bad Teacher,” which reportedly cost about $20 million to make, has already earned $59.5 million, marking the second big success for a semi-bawdy, female-helmed comedy.
Now, here are your top five movies of the weekend, based on studio estimates, followed by the box office poll: Will “Dark of the Moon” triumph again next weekend, or is “Horrible Bosses” or “Zookeeper” more likely to be No. 1?
1. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”: $97.4 million
2. “Cars 2”: $25.1 million
3. “Bad Teacher”: $14.1 million
4. “Larry Crowne”: $13 million
5. “Monte Carlo”: $7.6 million