In case you’ve been in a coma for the past week, the news has been all about director Michael Bay and his sequel to “Transformers”… oh yeah, and a couple of people died. The unexpected loss of Michael Jackson may have slowed “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” down on Thursday (Bay will have to blame that one-day drop of 53% on something) but Friday saw the film rebound with $36.7 million. That was good enough to snag the biggest non-opening Friday title and give the suits over at Paramount some hope that a strong weekend would propel the film past $200 million in its first five days – which is exactly how things went down. Saturday’s $40.6 million clinched an estimated weekend total of $112 million. That, plus the $89.2 million the film earned in its first two days, pushed “Transformers 2” over $201 million as of Sunday – achingly close to the $203.7 million five-day record of “The Dark Knight”. More after the jump:
|5||My Sister’s Keeper||$12.030,000||$12,030,000|
|7||Taking of Pelham 1 2 3||$5,400,000||$53,406,000|
|8||Night at the Museum 2||$3,500,000||$163,248,000|
|10||Away We Go||$1,678,000||$4,056,000|
Although it goes against every fiber of my being to compare “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” to “the Dark Knight”, the box office has spoken. Like it or not, these two films are now linked by their phenomenal five day tallies. While I covered “Knight” last summer I had the feeling that I was a part of something truly amazing – a once in a lifetime convergence of pop culture and critics, mass media and the plain masses. So to experience that same box office frenzy again (thanks to a film full of racist robots no less) just feels wrong. But that’s me.
As for the man behind the bots, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is now easily the biggest film of Michael Bay’s career. This guarantees tha Bay will continue to bully and smash his way through theatres for years to come. Yay? The first “Transformers” brought in a total of $155 million in seven days – the sequel passed that mark by day four. Even with a reported budget of $200 million this is a giant win for Bay, Paramount and Hasbro. Only good taste loses in this scenario…
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” also had a big week overseas. The film opened on Wednesday in almost every country around the world (Japan and the UK got to go a few days early, Italy and India had to wait) and it would appear that foreigners are no less immune to the charms of Megan Fox and robots. Numbers through Thursday gave “Transformers 2” an additional $80 million in bragging rights (about all foreign grosses are worth after the complicated process of splitting them up and collecting them).
Shockingly enough there was one studio with stones enough to go up against “Transformers 2” – Warner Brothers. In what probably felt like a shrewd counter-programming move, the studio put the Cameron Diaz/Abigail Breslin drama “My Sister’s Keeper” out in 2,606 theatres. Most estimates had the “feel-good weeper” finishing at $14 million and though “Keeper” ended up a bit under that figure, $12 million for a movie about kids with cancer, that’s still pretty good.
The numbers for the rest of the top ten were predictably lower thanks to the robot onslaught, but the grosses were not as lopsided as they could have been considering that many screens at the multiplex were given over entirely to “Transformers”. Last week’s winner “The Proposal” saw a 45% drop to $18.4 million, which was nowhere near as bad as it could have been. About as bad as it could have been was how bad it was for “Year One”. The ill-reviewed comedy fell a gigantic 70% to land at number six in only its second week.
Next weekend will tell how far those “Dark Knight” comparisons can be taken with “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. The debut of “Ice Age 3” should take a bite out of the film’s ‘Parents with Frenzied Seven year-old Boy’ demographic, but probably not enough to matter at this point. As for the Johnny Depp/Christian Bale starrer “Public Enemies” – I hope Batman will be OK coming in third…