MONDAY AM, 15TH UPDATE: There were fireworks for some Hollywood action and family movies this Fourth Of July long weekend but not for Hollywood stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts whose new movie bombed. Right now total U.S. and Canadian moviegoing for the holiday looks like $239M, which is trailing last year’s $250M by -4.5% but still the 2nd biggest Fourth Of July long weekend ever.

Here’s the Top 10 :

1. Transformers 3 3D(Paramount) NEW (opened Tues) [4,013 Theaters]
Tuesday $5.5M (9 PM), Wednesday $37.7M, Thursday $21.4M
Friday $32.8M, Saturday $34.4M, Sunday $30.2M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $97.5M, Four-Day Holiday $116.4M, Cume $181.1M
Three-Day International $217M, Three-Day Global Cume $379M, International $235M, Global Cume $416M

Paramount’s latest Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is the giant #1 movie and biggest Fourth Of July opening weekend (3-day and 4-day) ever beating Spider-Man 2‘s $88.2M and $115.8M. IMAX broke its global record with the first ever $20M-plus debut ($22.5M global). Domestically, the pic opened with some 3D-only nighttime sneaks on Tuesday ($5.5M), followed by a full release into 4,013 theaters on Wednesday ($37.7M) and Thursday ($21.4M). Now Friday brings in a big $32.9M, Saturday $34.5M, and Sunday $30.2M. That’s still -6% behind 2009’s Transformers 2 despite 3D’s higher ticket prices. Michael Bay’s robot actioner should hit $181M through the Fourth of July, compared to TF2‘s $214M. About 60% of the gross was from 3D. “We expected to start behind the last one,” a Paramount exec tells me. “This one has an ‘A’ CinemaScore and better reviews, so it should play to a better multiple.” Paramount now says it’s the only studio to ever score five consecutive $100+M films.

The movie is doing even better overseas where sequels and 3D are more popular. Internationally the movie is open in 110 countries (but not yet Japan or China) and is up +55% over the franchise’s 2nd installment. Foreign should close in on $235M through Monday for Paramount Pictures International’s biggest opening weekend ever. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon shredded a bunch of box office records as it claimed #1 in 57 of the 58 territories where it was released. The movie was the biggest opening of all-time in 7 countries, led by Korea ($30M), Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Peru. About 70% of the overall gross was generated by 3D this weekend. Combined with the domestic result, TF3 becomes Hollywood’s third highest grossing worldwide debut ever with $416M global cume for its first 7 days. (TF2 did only $360M in 2009.)

Jack Henderson
3 years
It may just be because I dont live in America and dont know much about American politics...
bryan
3 years
It's kind of sad that you're expecting to be pounced on, isn't it. Civility's just all right...
bryan
3 years
My moby-dar sounded the klaxons.

2. Cars 2 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 2 [4,115 Theaters]
Friday $7.8M, Saturday $9.4M, Sunday $8.8M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $26.1M (-60%), Four-Day Holiday $32M, Cume $123M
International: $207.5M, Global Cume $330.5M

3. Bad Teacher (Sony) Week 2 [3,049 Theaters]
Friday $4.5M, Saturday $5M, Sunday $4.9M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $14.4M (-54%), Four-Day Holiday $17.6M, Cume $63M

4. Larry Crowne (Universal) NEW [2,972 Theaters]
Friday $4.1M, Saturday $4.8M, Sunday $4.3M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $13M, Four-Day Holiday $15.7M

The pairing of veteran Hollywood stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts failed to open Larry Crowne which also was produced and directed and co-written by Hanks. (Did he tell himself to dye his grey hair with the equivalent of black shoe polish? Looked weird…) Even though the two stars did any and all publicity for it, this is a bigger repudiation for Hanks who went on a rare 5-city personal appearance tour, his first since promoting Saving Private Ryan, and met with regional press in every one of those cities. He and Roberts
appeared on one of Oprah’s final shows together in early May, which re-aired this week, but Hanks also personally co-hosted Oprah’s final two blowout shows personally.

Despite all that, the romantic comedy finished a dismal #4 with just a $13M three-day weekend and $16M four-day holiday from a wide release into 2,972 theaters. That’s a very disappointing start for two stars who individually should be able to open a new pic to at least $20M of North American grosses for a three-day weekend and presumably more when paired. (Their last film together, 2007’s Charlie Wilson’s War, also bombed.) Their latest pic received a ‘B’ Cinemascore, but just ‘C+’ from audience members under age 35. Exit polling showed moviegoers were 64% female vs 36% male, and 81% over age 35 vs 19% under age 35. Good thing Universal was only distributing, and good thing the film’s negative cost was only $30M fully financed by Vendome Pictures. But the marketing cost was at least another $30M high with a heavy rotation of expensive TV ads. This is the third movie with major stars to disappoint at the box office this summer following Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern and Jim Carrey in Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

5. Super 8 (Paramount) Week 4 [3,088 Theaters]
Friday $2.2M, Saturday $2.8M, Sunday $2.7M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $7.8M, Four Day Holiday $9.5M, Cume $110M

6. Monte Carlo (Fox) NEW [2,472 Theaters]
Friday $3.1M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $1.9M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $7.4M, Four-Day Holiday $8.7M

Fox’s counterprogramming film aimed at tween/teen girls, Monte Carlo performed about as expected with an ‘A’ CinemaScore with $8.7M for the four-day weekend.

7. Green Lantern 3D (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,280 Theaters]
Friday $1.9M, Saturday $2.3M, Sunday $2.2M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $6.5M, Four-Day Holiday $8M, Cume $103.6M

8. Mr Popper’s Penguins (Fox) Week 3 [2,861 Theaters]
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $1.8M, Sunday $1.9M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $5.4M, Four-Day Holiday $6.8M, Cume $51.8M

9. Bridesmaids (Universal) Week 8 [1,389 Theaters]
Friday $1M, Saturday $1.3M, Sunday $1.3M, Monday
Three-day Weekend $3.6M, Four-Day Holiday $4.4M, Cume $153.7M
International $34.8M, Global Cume $188.5M

10. Midnight In Paris (Sony Classics) Week 7 [858 Theaters]
Friday $866K, Saturday $1.3M, Sunday $1.4M, Monday
Three-Day Weekend $3.5M, Four-Day Holiday $4.3M, Cume $34.5M

THURSDAY PM/FRIDAY AM, 8TH UPDATE: Paramount says Thursday’s gross was $21.4M for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. The North American cume is now $64.6M, and 60% of that comes from higher priced 3D tickets. Right now the studio is projecting that Michael Bay’s actioner should make $165M domestic through the Fourth Of July.

WEDNESDAY PM/THURSDAY AM, 6TH UPDATE: The Fourth Of July fireworks are already beginning at the box office. Paramount’s Transformers 3 lit up 2011’s biggest North American opening day, even though it’s Wednesday, beating fellow 3D film Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 which had the year’s highest gross on a Friday. The Michael Bay 3D actioner hit $37.7M Wednesday, which included the $8M from midnight screenings. Adding in Tuesday’s pre-midnight 3D sneaks of $5.5M, the cume is now $43.2M. Paramount itself had put the range possible between $35M-$40M. IMAX accounted for $3.3M on 146 domestic sites and $1.7M internationally on 89 sites for a total $5.1M (including Tuesday and Wednesday cumes). Pirates 4 set the 2011 record by opening to $34.8M including midnight shows.

Surprisingly considering the mixed reviews, audiences gave the pic an ‘A’ CinemaScore. Exit polling showed that 62% Males gave it an ‘A-‘ and 38% Females an ‘A’, while 55% under age 25 gave it an ‘A’ and 45% over 25 an ‘A-‘.

Wednesday’s domestic numbers are bigger than Transformers 1 but don’t better Transformers 2. However, international for Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is expected to come in higher than previous installments and set a record for the franchise’s global cume as it rolls out in 110 countries over Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Paramount today estimated an opening day foreign take of $32.5M, which is 38% ahead of Transformers 2 for the markets that have opened. The overseas cume with previews is estimated at $36.6M for a global take so far of $80M.Transformers 2 did 10% more grosses outside the U.S., and this threequel should be a notch better — $165+M. That means the global cume for Dark Of The Moon should range from a low of $315M to more likely $365M for its first seven days in theaters.

Notable includes Asia where Korea which opened to a massive $5.03M from 1,291 theaters, which is 217% up on Pirates 4 and 114% up on Transformers 2 for the biggest opening day of all time in Korea for any film. (The studio says 53% of business was from 3D.) Hong Kong and Singapore scored the biggest non-holiday opening day of all time and the 3rd biggest opening day of all time. Malaysia had the biggest opening day ever, and the biggest single day ever, and biggest 3D gross ever. No records were set in Australia ($2.8M from 392 theaters, 32% ahead of Transformers 2 with 71% of business in 3D), New Zealand ($335K from 87 theaters, which was 3% behind Transformers 2).

In Europe, the UK opened to $3.5M from 494 locations, and previews take the total to $4.17M. The opening was 10% up on Pirates 4 (also a Wednesday opening) but 25% below Transformers 2 which opened on a Friday. (And 70% of business was from 3D.) Germany was 1/3 bigger than Transformers 2. France opened to $3M, including previews, from 700 theaters for the biggest opening day of 2011. Russia following the World Premiere with a huge $3.1M from its opening day, rising to $4.2M with previews. The opening was 76% up on Transformers 2 but 35% down on Pirates 4.

In Latin America, most markets open today or tomorrow in the region but the early numbers are very strong: Peru is the biggest opening day of all time and the biggest day of all time for any movie. It is 153% ahead of Pirates 4 and 273% ahead of Transformers 2.

WEDNESDAY 9 AM UPDATE: The only 2011 movie to do more was The Hangover Part II which opened to $10.4M midnights. By contrast, Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 did $4.7M midnights. Now the comps: Transformers 1 in 2007 opened wide at 8 PM on July 3rd, which was a Monday night, and did $8.8M for all shows. Transformers 2 opened wide at midnight two years ago and did $16 million. If tracking is any indication, this threequel should do box office between the two prior films but closer to Transformers 1. So Paramount expected around $10M total for Tuesday’s pre-midnight 3D-only screenings and Wednesday’s midnight and later shows. The exact tally turned out to be a bigger $13.5M — $5.5M for 3D-only pre-midnight Tuesday screenings, and $8M for Wednesday mightnights. Remember, only 2,700 3D screens opened Tuesday pre-midnight. Then another 300 to 500 2D screens opened at midnight Wednesday. By the time the movie releases wide today, it’ll play in 4,011 locations.

Paramount is expecting this latest installment in the franchise to open less than the last one in the U.S. but play to better multiples. Grosses over the seven days from Tuesday night through the Fourth Of July should hit $200M, though the studio keeps lobbing lowball estimates of $150M-$165M despite the higher 3D ticket prices. (‘Transformers 3′ $150M For First 6 Days?)

Internationally, almost every territory opens this week, except Japan and China, which should account for 15% of the pic’s business. (‘Transformers 3′ Premiere In Red Square)

TUESDAY PM: Bring sunglasses and earplugs to Transformers 3 or you’ll walk out of the theater like one Paramount exec who told me he was not just blinded by the 3D but also deafened by the battles. I hope he was just kidding, because you don’t want to miss those cheap shots at Megan Fox (like the robots who complained that the other girl was mean). Actually, Michael Bay wasn’t kidding when he said certain shots took a year to get right. This is just some of the reaction as Transformers: Dark Of The Moon opened in 3D starting at 9 PM tonight. I’ll keep writing about this phenom for the next seven days in what’s shaping up to be a very loooong Fourth Of July holiday week.

A few seconds after I posted this, the film’s 14-time Academy Award nominee re-recording mixer Greg P. Russell emailed that, “I had my technician go over to the Paramount theater to make sure it was perfect. Just looking out for Michael. If you’re sitting close in that room, you’re screwed. Because I know it sounds awesome. Best sound mix of any Bay film yet. The irony is that the Visual FX and Sound will more than likely be nominated for Oscars by their peers who know the difference.”

Russell, who spent six months doing what he calls the best work of his 30-year career, says many movie theaters are presenting the pic in the brand-new 7.1 sound. Bay has said, “This is the most complex intricate soundtrack that me and my Academy Award-winning sound team have done. They really outdid themselves to make this a big picture experience.”

How much is riding on this film? A lot, judging by Paramount’s pull-out-all-the-stops tude. (Paramount Making Too Many 3D Demands?) Bay already has called the chief executives of major theater chains imploring them to show Transformers: Dark Of The Moon in a way that makes 3D look brighter and sharper. Since the darkness of 3D has started to impact movie satisfaction. (Michael Bay Writes To Theater Projectionists)

Reviews are mixed to bad but better than the really rotten ones for Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen (which we all agree was horrid).