Box Office: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ battles to $162.1 million in just six days

It might not reach the heights of “Revenge of the Fallen,” but after a lower than expected Wednesday and Thursday Paramount Pictures executives can breathe easy after “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” easily dominated the Fourth of July holiday weekend box office.  The third installment of the “Transformers” franchise has now grossed an estimated $162.1 million through Sunday and shpuld hit $180 million by end of day Monday.  That still lags behind “Revenge’s” 2009 debut, but makes “Dark of the Moon” the biggest opener of the year so far. 

Sliding to second place, as expected, was Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 2.”  The animated sequel found another $25.1 through Sunday and $116 million in just 10 days.

“Bad Teacher” was solid in third with another $14.1 million.  The Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel and Justin Timberlake comedy has found an estimated $59.5 million so far.

The biggest disappointment of the weekend, although also expected, was the debut of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts’ “Larry Crowne.”  The critically dismissed comedy had a tepid debut of just $13 million through Sunday and could hit just $15.6 million by end of day Monday.  The picture only cost $30 million and should play better overseas where it should eventually break even when marketing and distribution costs are factored in.

Also failing to create any fireworks was the Selena Gomez teen dramedy “Monte Carlo.” Why 20th Century Fox decided to release the film during such a busy frame is still raising eyebrows, especially when it landed an encouraging A cinemascore with audiences.  With just $7.6 million through Sunday and possibly $9 million by Monday, “Monte Carlo” won’t be in theaters long.

Look for final holiday estimates tomorrow on HitFix.