Don’t tell Michael Bay and Paramount that audiences are not feeling “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. In just its first week of release, the third installment in the transforming robot franchise has collected a whopping $372 million worldwide according to studio estimates. Proving that 3D still has some say in things, 60% of the movie’s revenues came from 3D screenings at a record 2,789 locations. Looks like having Bay and LaBeouf going to every single media outlet out there saying, “You HAVE to see this thing in 3D!!!” paid off. Even considering its nearly $200 million dollar production budget, the film is cruising easily towards profitability, which, of course, means only one thing — Paramount suits scrambling to figure a way to give you “Transformers 4” in a few years. With or without Bay or star Shia Labeouf, a part 4 seems like a given — as long as the transforming robots return, and last I heard, they had no say in the matter.
With “Transformers” dominating the box office, it was all about counter programming for the other studios. Universal brought out adult comedy “Larry Crowne”, with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, while Fox went after the tweener girl audience with the Selena Gomez vehicle “Monte Carlo”. Neither film came close to matching “Dart of the Moon’s” take, but then again, they probably weren’t supposed to. “Crowne” earned $13 million in its first week, while “Carlo” took in $7.6 million dollars worth of teenage girl ticket sales. The two films were fourth and fifth place, respectively, on the charts for the weekend.
Last week’s #1, “Cars 2” continues to chug along, adding an additional $25 million to its coffers, giving it $116 million so far in two weeks of release, and $198 million worldwide. Not bad, but perhaps bad reviews are starting to take its toll on the animated sequel in subsequent weeks, especially considering that it cost even more than “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”, with its estimated production budget around the $200 million mark. Cameron Diaz’s “Bad Teacher”, meanwhile, is already a bona fide hit, earning $59 million so far in two weeks of release, and just shy of $78 million worldwide from a $20 million dollar budget. After “Bridesmaids” and now this, you can expect a flood of imitators to hit the markets in the next few years.
J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8” continues to do well while still flying under the radar. The film has earned $147 million worldwide so far. The same can’t be said for Warner Bros.’ $200 million dollar superhero movie “Green Lantern”, which continues to struggle towards any semblance of respectability. After three weeks, the Ryan Reynolds film has only made $131 million worldwide so far, with over $101 million of that coming from domestic box office, where it is quickly petering off. So what does that mean? Probably that if you were hoping for a sequel, you can stop hoping now, it’s not going to happen. At least, not until some genius suit at Warner Bros. decides to “reboot” it. You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Well, I’m not. Wait for it, wait for it…
Meanwhile, as predicted, Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” has surpassed the $1 billion dollar mark, making it the third Johnny Depp movie to hit the mark, following in the footsteps of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”.