Box office update: 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' scores year's biggest opening day with $37.3 mil


Image Credit: Jaimie Trueblood

It’s going to be a good week for Excedrin. On Wednesday, Transformers: Dark of the Moon blasted off with the year’s largest opening day so far. The $195 million action film, the third in the Michael Bay-directed series, grossed an estimated $37.3 million on Wednesday, including $8 million from midnight showings. (The movie earned an additional $5.5 million from “sneak preview” screenings Tuesday night, which aren’t being counted toward its Wednesday debut) This year’s previous opening-day record holder was Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which plundered $34.9 million its first day.

Dark of the Moon‘s opening-day figure falls in between its two predecessors. The 2007 Transformers generated $27.9 million its first day (excluding the $8.8 million it made from sneak previews the prior night), while the 2009 sequel, Revenge of the Fallen, collected a massive $62 million on opening day. Dark of the Moon should continue to split the difference between the two movies throughout the week. At this rate, look for it to earn just under $100 million during the four-day holiday weekend. By the time the fireworks start flying Monday night, Dark of the Moon should have grossed around $165 million in six days.

Check back here later today for the full box-office preview, and throughout the weekend for additional updates.

Read more:
EW’s ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ Review
‘Transformers 3′: In which Michael Bay turns Optimus Prime into a sociopathic idiot douchebag
Shia LaBeouf claims to have hooked up with Megan Fox, accurately criticizes ‘Wall Street 2′ and ‘Transformers 2,’ generally scorches the Earth

Comments (64 total) Add your comment
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  • Nick T

    Labeouf hero shot!

    • Michael Bay’s coke dealer


      • Robin

        it’s one of those movies you can make out in the backrow for the entire show and not miss much

  • boom

    wow quite the drop from 2nd one…and this one has 3d premiums….America starting to get tired of crap….but not fast enough

    • Ghost of Pia

      America still loves crap, but it is starting to look around at other feces.

      • Shameless

        So America loves fresh feces?

      • Tom

        Boom! Roasted.

    • loop

      I caught it last night in 3D and whereas I will agree with you that the 3D trend has run its course (Green lantern… Hello) the 3D in T3 was quite good.

    • TMOTH41

      The difference has to do with the day of the week, (Friday vs. MOnday). Not America being tired of crap. Sadly. Look for Tformers 3 to rake in 200Million by Tuesday.

  • Mike

    FAIL! This movie would have made twice that if Megan fox was still in it.
    Sorry, just wanted the first comment to be the stupidest.

    • john

      its not the stupidest, its fact. and i bet it wont make as much as the second one.

    • Will J

      Actually that not what it is at all. It’s bc the second one was absolute doodoo and lots of ppl felt screwed ovr by it, so this one wont start out as big.

    • Bill

      What a waste of money that was. I should have gone to see something else.

  • t.t

    I enjoyed it (this is coming from someone who loved the first one and hated the second one)

    • Rachel

      Completely agree!

    • Mike

      better than the 2cd, still far from a good movie

      • Robin

        Nah, not really.

  • Esox

    If I made a movie, and one guy decided to pay $40 million for one ticket, I would lead the box office race. That why I don’t like dollar figures for box office counts. Jaws and Star Wars didn’t cost $10 to get in. Tell me how many people saw the movie. That’s a more realistic figure in how popular a movie is. Gone With The Wind is still the most seen movie ever. Avatar got to the top based on 3D sales. This seems like such a Bonds/Aaron thing.

    • kurt

      Go to Box Office Mojo and look at the inflation adjusted All-Time totals. Avatar the #1 Box office champ falls to 6th or 7th when inflation is brought in. Gone with the Wind is estimated at 1.5 billion!! It made like 140 Million in 1939, when there was a depression.

      • Esox

        Thanks. i’m aware of that. my point is, I shouldn’t have to carry a slide rule around to figure out if Armageddon was really a more popular movie than close Encounters. We measure music bought by number of units, We measure TV viewed by number of people, why not movies?

      • Jason

        There is no perfect comparison. Gone With The Wind didn’t hit blu-ray 3 months after it was released. It took at least a year or two. What else was there to do in 1939?

    • Huffy

      Hollywood does this for PR reasons.

  • Dominic

    I feel bad for people that wasted money on this. I would be embarassed to sit in a crowded theater with an audience that is easily impressed by loud noises, explosions, juvenile humor and bad comic relief. It really speaks volumes about today’s moviegoers when a film like this makes more money on its opening day than the opening days for quality sci-fi films, such as Inception, Super 8 and X-Men: First Class. If people keep paying to see mindless films like Transformers 3, then that’s what Hollywood will keep giving us. I want quality in my films, but modern audiences are ruining the chances of us getting smarter films because they are too lazy to have their brains turned on during a movie. They are happy with whatever is thrown on the screen in front of them, no matter how bad it is. The first Transformers was a fun popcorn movie that had at least a little bit of quality to it. Transformers 2 was a cinematic atrocity, so I don’t even want to take my chances with the third movie, based on the reviews I’ve read. Let’s hope this film has a big decline next weekend.

    • DGH

      Your rambling and constant complaining is boring. Plus you’re part of the problem if you seen the first two then they are making a third for you and all the other “mindless” viewers who seen the first two so bravo for calling yourself out.

      • Dominic

        I watched all of the first Transformers movie because there were a few good things about it. When I went to go see Transformers 2, I walked out after 30 minutes and asked for my money back. It was such a bad movie.

    • PJ

      I saw it, I liked it, and I wasn’t ashamed to be sitting in the theater. There were people of all ages there. And I also spent my money on Inception, X-Men First Class, and Super 8 and liked those as well. Stop trying to be a movie snob and lighten up.

    • LMFAO

      Dominic is a savvy movie fan.

    • STFU

      Dominic, why do you get so offended by the box office returns of certain movies? Obviously there are films currently playing in theaters that you have enjoyed. Is that not enough? News flash: people enjoy big, expensive event movies. Cinematic junk food. I thought the 1st Transformers was pretty good. I loathed the second one and yet, I will be paying for a ticket to see the 3rd in Imax 3D. Call me crazy or tell me I love crap. Who gives a s**t? The majority of theaters have over 10 screens. See what you want and leave the people to their crap. Just please stfu about the reviews that you’ve read. God forbid you should see a movie that wasn’t cerified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and actually enjoy yourself. That will never happen though, will it Dom? That would require you to think for yourself.

      • Dominic

        It upsets me because instead of people giving movies like Super 8 and X-Men: First Class the attention they deserve, audiences flock to the lowest common denominator for entertainment. The two movies mentioned above offer more than impressive visuals. They offer good stories. Transformers just gives you an overload of visual effects and meaningless explosions, as well as headaches.

      • Ja

        @ Dominic — but that is the person who is buying the ticket’s choice. Listen, Super 8 may be the better movie but from a star power and name recognition concept, Transformers has it beat hands down.

        And really, so what if the masses choose to flock to the lowest common denominator. This is entertainment..and if I, or anyone, wants to spend their hard earned money on a movie that is nothing more then watching things getting blown up, they should be able to do so without having to take criticism as a result. Generalizing a population because they aren’t doing what you want them to do is really just petty.

    • STFU

      Dominic, the movies you mentioned (X Men and Super 8)are doing quite well. The fact that Transformers 3 was made does not affect your life at all. My suggestion to you is to go see a movie before you trash it. If something looks good to you, see it before you run to Rotten Tomatoes.

      • STFU

        And stop saying you feel bad for people who go to certain movies. I assure you that I can handle it emotionally if I see a less than stellar film. So far, no therapy has been needed. Basically, try to lighten up dude. Cheers

    • Duh

      What did you really expect to see when you went to see a movie based on kids toys? This never was supposed to be a Black Swan type movie, so whats your complaint? Then you compare it not to Citizen Cain, but to X:Men as a quality film?

    • Benifer

      I enjoyed your review and commentary on this movie. A refreshing perspective and I appreciated the honesty too.

  • Ben

    Just wait until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II is released in few weeks. That will be a far bigger opening than Transformers and it will be a critical sucess as well. Like the Lord of the Rings films, it will be nominated for Best Picture as well.

    • John

      Eh…Harry Potter may make more money, but I doubt it’s getting a Best Picture nod.

    • Ruth

      i was just going to say that! EW makes too big of a deal on movie openings sometimes.

    • Sally

      Well, that sure was a waste of a couple of hours of my evening.

    • m1

      I am not sold on the fact that a Best Picture nomination will happen, but I agree that it will score well with critics (as usual) and that it will probably open at $138 million.

  • Jason

    And then Harry Potter will come and destroy that. B)

    • Chase Lehocky

      WHen it comes to Harry Potter… none of them bet Transformers one or two in the domestic (USA) Box Office and with a great cinemascore of a “A” Harry Potter might lose in America… but international it will win.

      • Mindy

        CinemaScore on opening day doesn’t mean much. It is all hardcore fans. Also, this opening day number is so low for Transformers that I now believe Harry Potter has a chance to beat it domestically this year.

  • PN

    Good, strong start! I think it could crack over the $200 million mark in a few weeks! I don’t think it wants to break any records, just get a respectable first week number. Some moviegoers respond to certain sequels a little different from other years. I still think $37 million is a far cry from 62 million 2 years ago, but that’s solid. And it started in late June, not July, when the movies always do well and not on July 4th.

    • Darrin

      July 4 weekend is traditionally one of the busiest of the movie calendar, which is why there’s always at least one huge release for that weekend. They just opened this one a couple days early to get a head start on the weekend.

    • tomm

      Why get so excited about Box Office results, if you’re not geting a cut of it?

    • Blonde South

      Technically it is supposed to be July 4th weekends big opener. It just started a few days early, as movie often do on July 4th weekend.

      • Rofi

        Hey Austin,Very cool Chocula drawings, thank you for the link. I like the “count the ways” one. Very funny.Thank you for your cnemmot. Keep up the good work.

  • Justin

    Just saw it and loved it. Much better than Transformers 2. In fact, I would put it at a tie with the first one. The action was much better choreographed and there was a quite a bit of humor. Not to say it was a masterpiece, but I was thoroughly entertained.


    The most convincing effect in Transformers 3 was how they turned two and a half hours of CGI into what felt like days of boredom.

  • LOL

    America loveds crap. This movie is nothing compared to Fast Five, the greatest film of all time. Fast Five makes Citizen Kane look like Jonah Hex.

    • Justin

      Oh, please!

    • Mindy

      Ha! Well, if it makes you feel better, I believe when you adjust for the 3D prices that Fast Five did about the same in admissions on opening day as this Transformers movie, and maybe even more.

  • tomm

    With inflation, every ‘record BO opening’ will be broken for as ling as movies are in business.

    Studios brag about the $ numbers, but mean nothing when ticket prices are 2-3-4 times as much as when Jaws and Star Wars were new. And 100x as much from the Golden Age of 1930s to 40s

    • Ja

      I can’t remember where I read it but I think that, with the adjustment of inflation, Gone With the Wind, still is the total box office champ for domestic box office take.

    • Mindy

      Again, this didn’t break any records. It is a major disappointment, actually. This number represents a nearly 50% decrease in opening day admissions from the previous Transformers film.

  • SC

    Shame on you, America.

  • Corey

    I just read the worldwide boxoffice report for opening day of Transformers 3…. Everyone seated?…. And remember this is just the Wednesday numbers.

    $ 69.5 million global take- The weekend box office take is going to be MASSIVE.

    • Mindy

      Hate to break it to you, but this number actually isn’t great. The last Transformers movie made nearly this amount on opening day just in the US. This number means this movie’s actual admissions have decreased by almost 50% from the last one. That is a big drop here. And it underperformed around the world, too.

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