July 2, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Metcalf
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>Transformers 3 is doing good but not great business (midway between the first and second in the series), but the overall weekend is looking like it is up only marginally from last year thanks to weak holds by Cars 2 and Bad Teacher.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon opened well and looks like it will have a $97 million from the Friday-Sunday traditional weekend. That would bring its total gross to $162 million through Sunday, and if it does about $20 million on the July 4 holiday (usually a down day because of competition from fireworks and celebrating in the evening) the six-day total will stand at $182 million (down about $195 from our Weekend Prediction).  If the $97 million Friday-Sunday number holds, the film will beat the record for a three-day July 4th opening weekend (besting non-3D Spider-Man 2‘s $88.1 million and pushing the original Transformers‘s three-day opening of $70.5 million to third place on the July 4 weekend list).  The third Transformers film is headed for $354 million in North America when it crosses the finish line, according to the ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Final estimate. This would put its domestic total right in between the first ($402 million) and second ($319 million) films.  Internationally, we expect a total of at least $700 million, making $1 billion worldwide very achievable.  See Mitch Salem’s review of Transformers 3.   

Larry Crowne is struggling this weekend with a projected $13 million from Friday-Sunday.  The film is headed for a dud-like $39 million total in North America.  Yes, it was up against a juggernaut, but a romantic comedy is nice counter-programming.  Trouble is, it’s not a very good film, and Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts aren’t what they used to be.  See Mitch Salem’s review of Larry Crowne.

And Monte Carlo starring the Disney Channel’s Selena Gomez opened very quietly and should do about $8 million Friday-Sunday on its way to $19 million domestically.

Cars 2 should drop 64% (worse than average and especially bad for a Pixar film), and the film has been downgraded to a relatively disturbing $164 million.  Speaking of Pixar and Disney, we are going to kick off our Summer Studio Report Cards with a critical look at the Mouse House next week.  Think of them as mid-term grades for the all-important summer season.  

Similarly, Bad Teacher should fall 57% from last weekend, and its domestic gross has also been downgraded to $91 million.   The other movies are on similar tracks to their previously forecast ShowBuzzDaily Domestic Estimates.  

Click “Read more” to see the complete box office chart.

July 1-3, 2011          Pre-Wknd    Wknd     TBD    Showbuzz
(millions)              Showbuzz    Early   Friday  Domestic
                        Forecast    Proj.   Actual   Final*
Transformers 3  (Par/DW) [$83.5]    $97.0   $32.9     $354
Cars 2 (Dis)             [$37  ]    $23.5   $ 7.9     $164
Bad Teacher (Sony)       [$16  ]    $13.5   $ 4.5     $ 91
Larry Crowne (Uni)       [$14.5]    $13.0   $ 4.0     $ 39
Green Lantern (WB)       [$ 8  ]    $ 6.0   $ 1.9     $113
Super 8 (Par)            [$ 6.5]    $ 5.7   $ 2.2     $128
Mr Popper’s Penguins Fox [$ 6.5]    $ 4.7   $ 1.7     $ 65
Monte Carlo (Fox)        [$ 6  ]    $ 8.0   $ 3.1     $ 19
X-Men: First Class (Fox) [$ 3.5]    $ 2.7   $ 0.8     $148

Note: The table above summarizes an early look at the weekend.  The first column is reminder of each film’s ShowbuzzDaily Forecast for the weekend (in brackets).  The second column, on which the films are sorted, displays the new weekend projection for each film, based on the Friday numbers (the third column).  The final column is a preliminary estimate of the ShowbuzzDaily Domestic Total number for the film’s total run in North America.  A “++” indicates the Domestic number has been upgraded; a “–” indicates a downgrade. 

Limited Releases

A look at limited release openings will come soon. 

Total Box Office Volume

The Top 12 Films this weekend are looking like $183 million total, up a paltry 1% from the same calendar weekend last year.  The strong business for Transformers 3 is being offset by weak holds for the returning films.  

Top 12 Films: Weekend #26

2011  $183  (
+12% vs 2007-10 average; +1% vs 2010) 

Avg   $164 
            Movies Opening That Weekend
2010  $181  Twilight Eclipse $65, Last Airbender $40    

2009  $156  Ice Age Dawn Dinos $42, Public Enemies $25
2008  $153  Hancock $63, Kit Kittredge $3
2007  $165  Transformers $70, License to Wed $10

Next Weekend

Opening next week are Zookeeper from Sony and Horrible Bosses from Warner Brothers / New Line.  Those comedies will be compared to Despicable Me ($56 million opening weekend) and Predators ($25 million), and it’s hard to imagine next week being an up week vs 2010. 

Look for updates of the weekend box office on Sunday, based on the Saturday actual numbers.

About the Author

Mitch Metcalf
MITCH METCALF has been tracking every US film release of over 500 screens (over 2300 movies and counting) since the storied weekend of May 20, 1994, when Maverick and Beverly Hills Cop 3 inspired countless aficionados to devote their lives to the art of cinema. Prior to that, he studied Politics and Economics at Princeton in order to prepare for his dream of working in television. He has been Head of West Coast Research at ABC, then moved to NBC in 2000 and became Head of Scheduling for 11 years.