Weekend Box Office – TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON Breaks Fourth of July Holiday Record with $97.4 Million

     July 3, 2011


In the US, the Fourth of July weekend is traditionally a giant money-maker for Hollywood movies. So, surprise!  This year was a giant money maker for Hollywood movies.  Make that “movie.”  Three movies debuted, but only one – Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon – made an impact.  A big, record-breaking impact.

Title Weekend Total
1 Transformers 3 $97,400,000 $162.1
2 Cars 2 $25,110,000 $116
3 Bad Teacher $14,100,000 $59.5
4 Larry Crowne $13,000,000 $13
5 Monte Carlo $7,600,000 $7.6
6 Super 8 $7,500,000 $108
7 Green Lantern $6,270,000 $101.9
8 Mr. Popper’s Penguins $5,100,000 $50.1
9 Bridesmaids $3,520,000 $152.8
10 Midnight in Paris $3,438,000 $33.6

transformers-dark-of-the-moon-imax-3d-posterDespite trailing its predecessor in grosses and attendance over its first five days here in the US, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is already a huge international hit projected to take in more than $370 million by Monday. Here at home, the film broke the record for the three day Fourth of July frame and is expected, by Monday, to hold the four day record as well.

On Tuesday, TF3 opened at 9 pm for 3D and IMAX previews in 2,700 locations and took in $5.5 million.  When its opening day started three hours later, the sequel earned another $8 million, or the second highest midnight total of 2011 behind The Hangover Part II’s $10.4 million.  For all of Wednesday, TF3 posted $37.3 million.  That equals the sixth-highest Wednesday opening ever and the best overall opening day of 2011: besting Pirates of the Caribbean 4’s $34.8 million Friday launch.  But, let’s face it, those records are not particularly impressive. Here are the Transformers 3 records that count.

Since 2004, Spider-Man 2 has held the record for the biggest Fourth of July weekend (Friday-Sunday) with $88.2 million.  Spidey also dominated the four-day holiday frame (including Monday) with $115.8 million.  Even if its current three-day weekend estimate of $97.4 million turns out to be a bit inflated, there is no doubt that TF3 is the new Independence Day champ.  Current projections of $116 million through Monday also give the film the four-day record, but we’ll wait to call that one.

Last year’s Independence Day frame gave us another franchise giant: The Twilight Saga: EclipseEclipse had a huge opening day on the Wednesday before the Fourth, taking in $68.5 million for the biggest Wednesday of all-time.  By the time the weekend rolled around, Eclipse held the record for the biggest five day (Wednesday-Sunday) Fourth of July launch with $157.5 million.  Not including those Tuesday previews, TF3 has taken in an estimated $156.6 million over its first five days so, for now, the Twilight record stands.

The other BIG news from this holiday weekend is the fact that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has broken the billion (with a B) mark in worldwide grosses.  Despite the fact that the film fell out of the domestic top ten this weekend, a staggering 76% of its earnings have come from overseas – giving Pirates 4 a global total of 1.7 billion and seventh place on the list of all-time earners.  Elsewhere, despite losing over 500 locations to Transformers 3 this weekend, Green Lantern has broken the $100 million mark (with an M) domestically.

The holiday’s two counter-programming titles saw much more modest returns.  Universal’s romantic comedy Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, earned an estimated $13 million while Fox’s tween comedy Monte Carlo, with Selena Gomez, saw $7.6 million.  With Transformers 3 carrying all the weight, the domestic box office will be down by about 8% over last year, when Eclipse and The Last Airbender helped make 2010 the all-time Independence Day Holiday leader.  I’ll have an update on the four-day totals tomorrow.

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  • Neo_3

    Pirates is at $1,007,703,000 estimated not 1.7B.

  • Jude

    Good to see that these movies are all doing well. They are all my favorites.


  • Clay

    Further proof that we sadly need to accept the fact that a majority of blockbusters are produced with overseas in mind rather than ourselves.

    • dean

      1. Where does it say or show that the blockbusters are produced with overseas in mind?
      2. If they were, why is that a bad thing?

      • jcooley

        Paramount refuses to make Anchorman 2 because the first one underperformed overseas, despite such a film clearly having a huge audience.

        Marvel is, according to reports, intentionally downplaying the Patriotic aspects of Captain America in order to make it appeal more to foreign audiences.

        These scenarios are becoming more and more common in Hollywood these days. The days of the American film could soon be over.

      • Michael

        For quite awhile now, Hollywood’s been focusing on the global markets. Whereas before, they pretty much only made movies for white Americans, little by little, they started expanding their targets because they say there’s money to be made.

        And, soon, they started seeing big dollar signs in the forms of all those potential moviegoers across the country. That’s also a big reason why dialogue is more simple now — it makes it easier to subtitle movies and get the words to fit onscreen.

        They first started this “mainstreaming” by trying to simplify (i.e., dumb down) movies to appeal to more demographics in America. One could argue that’s where it began. Movies already were on their downward slide.

      • dean

        I still don’t agree. Okay the interviews from Captain America seem to downplay that he’s just a hero for America and rather for the entire world but I think that it’s because he’s a character that in the wrong hands could become sickly patriotic and cheesy which could turn off international movie-goers aswell as American Audiences.

        Anyway, Shouldn’t films be universal and not just something that America makes for it’s own audiences and for every other country to crowd around and look over the fence for?

  • BrandonHeat07

    They’ve LONG been over… And downplaying the “Patriotic” aspects of Captain America in the foreign trailers only makes sense… Too much money at stake to bet it all on one market, especially one where people watch less movies in theaters than worldwide…

  • K man

    This Transformers movie put me to sleep.

    Between this pile of S–t and Avatar, I don’t know what people find as entertainment these days.

    • trick

      Good call
      Going to watch Midnight in Paris tonight, that should provide some relief

  • Mark Tornits

    Who cares about the domestic weekend-

    the movie is now at about 400m worldwide-

    the days of the domestic total being king are over.

  • Carlos

    In Venezuela we can not see Transformers 3, because the government censor the film.

    if you saw, tell me if there is anything that explains that this censorship. thanks!

    • Old Soldier

      Hugo Chavez hates the U.S. and he and his lackeys somehow thinks this movie makes the U.S. look good and he look bad. If that’s the case I hope they make ten more.

      • Carlos

        Yes exactly, but you saw the movie? you can tell me if there’s something to explain this censorship?

      • Old Soldier

        Yes I did and no there is NOTHING that should have been censored. The only thing I can think of is it makes the U.S. military look like the good guys and that scares the crap out of Chavez. Sick sad thing is there are people here in the U.S. that feel the same way. By the way, why did Chavez go to Cuba for surgery? Doesn’t he trust your doctors?

      • Carlos

        I read on a forum, in the movie a girl dressed in a vulgar speaks Spanish and that’s why.

        Well, he had surgery on one knee in Venezuela, after several days, went to visit Cuba and there are sick
        and was diagnosed with cancer. Emergency surgery was

        but the government does not provide official information. and partly, He does not trust in Venezuelan doctors

  • Droopy

    you mean onepointzeroseven?

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