The Washington Post

Box office: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ again triumphs

Bumblebee, fired up and ready to go in “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” (Paramount Pictures/AP)

And those aren’t the only things “Transformers”achieved over the weekend. More on that, along with four other key takeaways from the box office results, a list of the top five movies of the weekend and a poll that allows you to predict next week’s box office winner (Hint: It’s going to be “Harry Potter”), after the jump.

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” is now the No. 1 movie of 2011.

That $261 million referenced earlier makes it the year’s top earner, pushing it ahead of the $250.8 million brought in so far by “The Hangover Part II.” Optimus Prime and Co. should relish this achievement while they can, since a certain boy wizard will almost certainly snatch this title from their mechanical grip in the coming days.

Moviegoers love their R-rated comedies.

Horrible Bosses” debuted in second place with $28.1 million, making it yet another modestly budgeted, slightly raunchy comedy that sold a decent number of tickets. Its opening was a tad bigger than “Bridesmaids” (debut: $26.2 million), a tad smaller than Cameron Diaz’s “Bad Teacher” (debut: $31.6 million) and less significant than the first “Hangover” (debut: $44.9 million). Still, on the whole? That’s a decent performance evaluation.

People don’t want to see comedic actors co-star with animals this summer.

Moviegoers have not been terribly interested in Jim Carrey’s “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” which has earned just $57.7 million after a month in release. And they were similarly blase about Kevin James’s “Zookeeper,” which opened in third place with $21 million, $10 million less than James’s last solo starring effort, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” managed in its first weekend out.

Tom Hanks can’t catch a box office break.

Business for “Larry Crowne” fell by 52.2 percent, knocking the rom-com down to sixth place with a total box office tally of $26.5 million. As Box Office Mojo points out, this is the lowest-grossing Hanks vehicle since 2004’s “The Ladykillers.”

A Tribe Called Quest film does well in limited release.

Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest,” the documentary about the seminal hip-hop group, opened in only four theaters around the country but made $120,000, yielding an impressive $30,000 per-screen average. Apparently Tribe fans scraped together some ticket money, despite having left their collective wallet in El Segundo.

The top five movies of the weekend were:

1. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” — $47 million

2. “Horrible Bosses” — $28.1 million

3. “Zookeeper” — $21 million

4. “Cars 2” — $15.2 million

5. “Bad Teacher” — $9 million

Now it’s time to predict next weekend’s box office winner. But before you do, let me just say this: if “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is not the No. 1 movie next weekend, I vow to subsist for the next 30 days on a diet that consists solely of bogey-flavored Bertie Botts beans. Are you as confident about Potter’s prospects? Vote below.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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