Box Office: Robots rule as ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ dominates Fourth of July weekend

If you’ve been following the box office this weekend, it’s no surprise that Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” finished the four-day holiday with an impressive $116 million and $181.1 million to date.  While significantly behind “Revenge of the Fallen” at this point in its run, Paramount Pictures is no doubt relieved their summer blockbuster is heading toward a $300 million plus domestic cume.  More importantly, “Dark of the Moon” has already raised $218 million overseas.  Yes, the third installment in the “Transformers” series is going to be a profitable endeavor for all involved.  

Two films that will struggle to break even are the weekend’s other debuts, “Larry Crowne” and “Monte Carlo.”  “Crowne,” Tom Hanks first directing gig since the underrated “That Thing You Do” back in 1996, had a disappointing opening with an estimated $15.7 million through Monday.  “Carlo,” the teen targeted romantic comedy starring Selena Gomez, Katie Cassidy and Leighton Meester, was evicerated by the competition charming only $8.7 million over the frame. Neither will find themselves in theaters for long.

Continuing to play strongly in their second weekends were “Cars 2” and “Bad Teacher.”  The Pixar sequel grossed another $32 million for a solid $123 million to date.  Like “Dark of the Moon” it should do most of its damage overseas.  “Teacher,” on the other hand, reaped the benefits of being the only new comedy in the multiplex and added $17.6 million to its cume for an impressive $63 million to date.  Is $100 million out of the question for the Cameron Diaz laugher?  Next weekend will tell the tale.

Also notable, “Green Lantern” hit $103.6 million, “Super 8” had an impressive 20% drop to climb to $110 million, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” eeked over the $50 million mark, “Bridesmaids” continues to amaze with $153.7 million and “Midnight in Paris” had the best hold in the nation with another $4.3 million and $34.5 million so far in just 858 theaters.  Already the highest grosser in Woody Allen’s career not taking inflation into account, the critically acclaimed comedy could easily pass $50 million.

Friday’s new releases include “Horrible Bosses” and “The Zookeeper.”  “Project Him” and “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest” open in limited release.