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Weekend Box-Office: July 1-3, 2011

07.03.2011

Michael Bay breaks more records...

Director Michael Bay and lead Shia LaBeouf both promised that the 3rd installment of the TRANSFORMERS franchise would be better than the 2nd one, and according to most critics and fans...it is. That said, nobody knew for sure if that meant more "big dollars", but apparently...it did! TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON broke the Independence Day Weekend opening record, set by SPIDER-MAN 2 back in 2004 ($88M), by generating $97M over this weekend. It also became the film with the 3rd largest global opening of all-time, behind HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE ($394M) and SPIDER-MAN 3 ($382M), having generated $372M since it opened earlier this week.

Needless to say, it also becomes 2011's biggest opening of the year, beating the latest PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film which had opened with $90.2M earlier this summer. And speaking of the PIRATES franchise, it too broke through another impressive mark this past weekend, becoming only the 8th film in the history of movie-making to surpass the $1 BILLION mark, worldwide (surpassing THE DARK KNIGHT in 8th place, by the way...sigh). Here's that elite list as it stands right now:

1. AVATAR: $2.78B
2. TITANIC: $1.84B
3. THE RETURN OF THE KING: $1.12B
4. POTC: DEAD MAN'S CHEST: 1.07B
5. TOY STORY 3: 1.06B
6. ALICE IN WONDERLAND: 1.02B
7. POTC: ON STRANGER TIDES: 1.01B
8. THE DARK KNIGHT: 1.00B
9. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE: 0.97B
10. POTC: AT WORLD'S END: 0.96B

For someone like me, who's been a fan of Johnny Depp since his early days with films like EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, DONNIE BRASCO, SLEEPY HOLLOW, ED WOOD and others, it's extremely bizarre to see him in 4 of the 10 highest-grossing movies of all-time! Who would have thought that a few years ago! And speaking of which, if someone can explain how the putrid ALICE IN WONDERLAND made so much money worldwide (I realize I keep harping on this, but it amazes me!), let me know in the STRIKE BACKs.

BTW, for those scoring at home, TRANSFORMERS 3's numbers are actually running below those from TRANSFORMERS 2 a few years ago, as that film had made $200.1M in its first 5 days of release, while the latest installment has made only $162M, which still places it in 9th place on the all-time 5-day opening list (TRANSFORMERS 2 sits in second place on that list, behind THE DARK KNIGHT's $203M).

What might be even more interesting to a lot of our readers in this weekend's box-office charts is the 62% drop by a Pixar movie!!! That's right, last week's #1 movie, CARS 2, lost 62% of its audience from last weekend and in turn, became the worst drop by a Pixar movie in its 2nd weekend of release of all-time! We hope that this lets Disney/Pixar know that audiences expect more from them...not just obvious money-grabs for merchandising purposes.

The Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts movie, LARRY CROWNE, that I had barely heard about -- even though I run a movie fansite! -- opened in a disappointing 4th place with only $13M, below BAD TEACHER which made $14M in its 2nd week of release. Some are saying that the film only cost $30M, so it'll definitely make its money back, but I'm not sure the studio was thinking about just "making its money back" when it decided to release it over this big holiday weekend while casting two of the biggest "movie stars" of their generation as its leads. Maybe those two shouldn't stay out of the limelight so long...

As for GREEN LANTERN, it's made $102M since its release three weeks ago, which adds up to about the same amount that TRANSFORMERS 3 made over the last three days alone! I think that says it all in terms of the film's acceptance among mainstream audiences. The three films to get booted from the top 10 this weekend included X-MEN: FIRST CLASS ($139M), THE HANGOVER: PART II ($248M) and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES ($234M), three of the most successful summer films so far.

Oh and at $153M, BRIDESMAIDS has now officially become producer Judd Apatow's highest-grossing movie ever! That beats films like PINEAPPLE EXPRESS ($87M), GET HIM TO THE GREEK ($60M), STEP BROTHERS ($100M), FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL ($63M), SUPERBAD ($121M), THE 40-YEAR OLD VIRGIN ($109M), TALLADEGA NIGHTS ($148M) and ANCHORMAN ($85M). Congrats to Judd and all the lovely ladies (and men) that made this movie what it has now become.

Next week sees the release of two medium-sized "summer releases" including HORRIBLE BOSSES starring everyone and your uncle as well as Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey and many others, as well as something called ZOOKEEPER starring Sylvester Stallone, Adam Sandler, Cher, Nick Nolte, Judd Apatow (he's everywhere!), Jon Favreau, Maya Rudolph, Don Rickles and many other...voices! (that's right folks, those actors are simply the "voices" of the many animals in the film) The movie actually stars Kevin James and Rosario Dawson in human form. Have a blast. In the meantime, let us know which of the TRANSFORMERS movies was your favorite: VOTE HERE!!!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon $97.4 M $162.1 M
2. Cars 2 $25.1 M $116 M
3. Bad Teacher $14.1 M $59.5 M
4. Larry Crowne $13 M
NEW
5. Monte Carlo $7.6 M
NEW
6. Super 8 $7.5 M $108 M
7. Green Lantern $6.3 M $101.9 M
8. Mr. Popper's Penguins $5.1 M $50.1 M
9. Bridesmaids $3.5 M $152.9 M
10. Midnight in Paris $3.4 M $33.6 M

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