Box office update: 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' posts year's best opening weekend, while 'Pirates' passes $1 billion worldwide


Image Credit: Robert Zuckerman

Records, records everywhere. Transformers: Dark of the Moon collected $97.4 million this weekend (from Friday to Sunday), according to studio estimates. That’s a significant result in three different ways: (1) largest opening weekend of the year, passing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides‘ $90.2 million debut; (2) biggest Independence Day weekend, beating Spider-Man 2‘s $88.2 million; and (3) third-best July opening weekend, behind The Dark Knight and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

Michael Bay’s $195 million alien-robot threequel is projected to finish the four-day holiday weekend with $116 million, bringing its six-day cumulative total to $181 million. But despite those enormous numbers, Dark of the Moon will likely never catch its predecessor Revenge of the Fallen, at least domestically. By comparison, that 2009 sequel had earned a massive $214.9 million after six days. According to Paramount, 62 percent of Moon‘s audience was male and 55 percent under the age of 25. Showings in 3-D continued to account for 60 percent of its gross, and IMAX screens single-handedly brought in an estimated $13.8 million over the four-day weekend.

Two other movies notched meaningful records. On Saturday, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides crossed $1 billion worldwide, becoming just the eighth film ever to do so. Despite being the weakest Pirates film domestically ($233.7 million through today), On Stranger Tides has pillaged an extraordinary $774 million overseas. The only other movies to have earned more on foreign shores are Avatar and Titanic. And Universal’s Bridesmaids is expected to pass Sex and the City today to become the highest-grossing R-rated female comedy ever. With $152.9 million through Sunday, Bridesmaids is also producer Judd Apatow’s most successful movie.

As for the rest of the box office, Cars 2 plunged a steep 62 percent for $25.1 million over the three-day weekend — the largest second-weekend drop in Pixar history. Bad Teacher earned $14.1 million for a 55-percent decline. In fourth, the new Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts comedy Larry Crowne didn’t make much of an impression with $13 million. According to Universal, 64 percent of the film’s audience was female, and a whopping 81 percent was at least 35 years old. And in fifth, the Selena Gomez comedy Monte Carlo debuted to $7.6 million.

Below are studio estimates for the three-day (Friday-to-Sunday) weekend. Check back on Monday for four-day estimates, plus the complete box office report.

1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon — $97.4 mil
2. Cars 2 — $25.1 mil
3. Bad Teacher — $14.1 mil
4. Larry Crowne — $13.0 mil
5. Monte Carlo — $7.6 mil

Comments (150 total) Add your comment
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  • Countryclub

    Plus another 210 mil overseas.

    • LOL

      The world loves crap, but the USA loves it best.

      • jared4ever

        Very Very true.

      • Diane

        I was just thinking that the entire world likes sucky films

      • Steve C.

        Absolutely terrible movie. The first two were bearable, but this was trash. Michael Bay is a terrible director (Pearl Harbour, The Island, etc, etc.) but unfortunately his movies make money.

      • Kevin

        it’s a swagger jagger? oh man

      • Antwon

        Or perhaps people love to escape their problems for a few hours and be entertained by a summer popcorn movie. Transformers isn’t going to win any Oscars nor is it trying to be. It doesn’t take itself as seriously as some of you!

      • Shashank

        just shut up okay.from day 1 u have been saying this is crap.No one cares okay?It has made close to $400M worlwide in its first 6 days and is poised to break records.ALSO AFTER A STRESSfUL DAY I WOULD PREFER TO SEE AN ACTION fun movie like transformers rather than watch exaggerating characters like black swannthe so called art movie which depresses me further.So no one cares about you okay.If YOU DONT LIKE IT THAN SHUT UP.No one is forcing you to watch it.

      • Antwon

        Steve C, the fact that you called the second movie bearable just killed your credibility. Shia, Tyrese and Josh all called it awful. Michael Bay officially apologized for Revenge of the Fallen. Dark of the Moon is leaps and bounds above the second film. There is actually a plot that makes sense vs. just robots clanking around.

      • LOL

        I reverse myself—Transformers is an awesome movie and everyone should go see it.

      • lover

        Interesting story!
        My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millionaire young man who is the CEO of a MNC !they met via ——WêálthyC’onnêct. C’óM— is the largest and best club for wealthy people and their admirers to chat online. …you don’t have to be rich there ,but you can meet one ,maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends ……..
        ——- lso, did anybody actually pay money to see the latest Transformers? I didn’t think so. If you did, get a hobby!!!

    • Get a freakin’ hobby!

      I think it’s quite funny how every single movie that comes out, be it good or awful, always manages to be the “top box office blowout,” or a “must-see extravaganza!!!” Personally, I think every media company who boasts a film’s box office stats is being paid by the producers to promote the film. If you doubt that, just think of the Green Lantern. Nobody saw it, and yet it was “top of the charts” for at least a full week!!! Also, did anybody actually pay money to see the latest Transformers? I didn’t think so. If you did, get a hobby!!!

      • Arturo D.

        Right on. Hollywood needs to realize that the bad quality of their films and their expensive ticket prices result in their movies not having big audiences any more. This year it really backfired as most Blockbusters have become, in one way or another, a box office disappointment.

      • Sambo

        Really? You know everybody in the world?? Get a life loser if you don’t like something why are you on here writing about it.

      • Shashank

        YOU DONT need to tell anyone to get a hobby.its ones personal choice if one wants to watch a movie.if you dont like dont watch it.

      • PJ

        Clearly people did pay money to go see it. A lot of people, actually, which makes you the annoying minority that nobody likes.

    • Terry

      As much as I love “Bridesmaids”, let’s use the right terminology: It’s not Apatow’s most successful comedy, it’s his biggest-grossing one. “Knocked Up” is still his most successful, since it sold more tickets. Just like “Avatar” was not more successful than Titanic, it just grossed more. Not to take anything from “Bridesmaids” or “Avatar”, they were both monumental successes, but it would be nice if we kept things in their right perspective.

      • Dell

        So true. And still, after all these years, Gone With The Wind remains the most successful movie ever.

      • Jose

        Gone With the Wind sold 25 million tickets when it was first released. The reason why it grossed over a billion dollars was because it had 9 threatrica re-releases that counted towards its total. Shouldn’t count.

      • TRINI


    • Jenn

      These rags and their stubborn refusal to adjust $$ for inflation make it so that EVERY year the records are broken.
      Shameless reporting.

      • Mike

        If you had to adjust every weekend box office reports it would just read, “Gone with The Wind…Still number 1.”

      • Shashank

        Dude if you take account for inflation then u also take into account internet,tv,dvds ,so many blockbusters releasing week after week.I am tired of people saying adjust for inflation.Today one can easily download a movie on net,watch on tv,buy a dvd or there are other blockbusters in those times it was not like that.and who cares about how much tickets it sold.Important is how much mooney it makes.

      • Jose

        I agree Jenn. When it comes to box office records, inflation should be adjusted.

      • Laura G

        I totally agree. When people are spending so much more money on 3D tickets compared to prices just a few years ago, it does not make it more successful. I think they should report it by number of tickets sold.

    • Edwin

      Piece of crap movie.

    • LOL

      Fast Five was the best movie this year hands down. Also I like manly orgies were I picture The Rock and Vin Diesel doing the money shot on my face!

    • deedeedragons


    • ds

      i saw transformes 3 and i loved it, even more than the 1st one.

    • Uu

      Transformers 3 was a terrific movie.

    • prtywser


      t s h i r t s -12

      s h o e s -35

      b i k i n i -17


      f r e e——– s h i p p i n g

    • sychar

      it was worth the ticket price to see Chicago blown up real good!!!! being a packer fan, the only thing that would have made it better would be to have blown up where the bears play…

  • LOL

    America loves crap.

    • LMFAO

      Crap list:
      Fast Five
      Pirates 4
      Transformers 3

      • Javadude54

        That list looks incomplete.

    • Tony

      LOL loves America

      • LOL

        I do. That is why I hold it to higher standard.

      • Really?

        Considering our public school system, perhaps you should expend your energy elsewhere than a blog about Transformers 3…

      • LOL

        You don’t know what I do outside of here. America is important to me, that’s why it’s imperitive that a country as great as the U.S. support quality films, like Fast Five. It’s not hard, just choose quality over crap, they did it once this summer, they can do it again.

    • LOL

      America got it right once this summer with Fast Five, since then, it’s all been down hill. If we want thought provoking films like Fast Five, then America has to support them, it’s that simple. Instead, they go see crap. I’m beginning to think that Fast Five was a fluke, and America really does love nothing but crap.

      • Vin Diesel

        Thanks, LOL. I do my best work when I know I have the support of smart EW readers like you.

      • Really?

        Thanks, Vin Diesel… AKA – John Young.

      • Good!

        Fast Five was thought provoking? Really? In that it made us think “Wow, who would’ve thought Vin Diesel would still be in the industry after the crapfest that was Babylon A.D.?”

      • LOL

        Sure, some people, like yourself, will watch Fast Five and see nothing but car chases and explosions. But there’s so much more to it than that, those of us that get it have a completely different experience that you just won’t ever understand.

      • Justin

        Fast Five was the worst film this year I would rather watch the hangover 2 on repeat for 48 hours than watch that crap again.

      • Sambo

        LOL is a 15 yr old snotty faced kid. now that’s LMAO!

      • Shashank

        @lol-there is more to transformers than robots and explosions .if you fast five is a thought provoking movie then either u are diehard fan of the series or u are just desparate.face it-transformers has a wider fan base than the fast series

    • Rolo Tomasi

      LOL is hilarious and sad. How many times do you have to hit refresh while you wait for new articles to come out?

      • LOL

        Rolo, you’re one of the best people on here. Just know that there are several people posting as “LOL.” I seem to have inspired a ton of copycats.

      • Rolo Tomasi

        Yeah, I did notice that, I think it’s become a cultural phenomenon

    • Oh for Christ’s sake

      LOL is an idiot. “Fast Five” sucked. If “Fast Five” is LOL’s standard of a “good movie” then we are all doomed.

      • Oh for humor’s sake

        Do you realize what sarcasm is? LOL doesn’t actually think Fast Five is the greatest movie ever. Jesus!

  • LMAO

    Crap list – Part 2:
    Jay Leno
    Fox News
    American Idol

  • javi

    i have to say even with the bad acting transformers was awesome i almost saw it twice because i had to take my niece to see monte carlo well i saw that too and larry crowne tom hanks was good so in my opinion if transformers is crap for some people who post here well the country loves his crap and is good crap.

    • Vin Diesel

      Try a period or a comma. Your post is crap.

      • Get a freakin’ hobby!

        So is yo momma! HA!

      • Dell

        Not to mention capital letters where appropriate.

  • Adwina Lambert

    Thank God that movie with 2 of the most over-rated celebrities – TH and JR tanked!! tee-hee!!

    • Vin Diesel

      Who says “tee-hee” besides 4 year olds? Your post is crap.

    • Cris

      They needed more explosions and slow motion boob shots … then it would have made billions.

  • javi

    @lol your a patriot god bless you

    • Get a freakin’ hobby!

      The version of “you are” that you were TRYING to use is actually spelled “you’re.” Please go back to school, for the good of the nation.

      • Regina George

        can everybudy stop with the grammer problem and i am annoyed by it. your all so stoopid.

  • Michael Bay’s Coke dealer


    • just thinking…

      I think you mean ‘Ka-ching’…

      • Get a freakin’ hobby!

        Must be some kind of coke-inspired dialect.

      • Desmo

        Cause he’s black

  • Radzinsky

    Wow, really sad about “Pirates of the Caribbea: On Sh1ttier Tides.” The WORLD definitely loves crap.

  • EC

    Dark of the moon was ok. Really slow & weak beginning, then after the “big twist” of the movie, was very good. Better than Revenge of the Fallen, but still not nearly as good as the first Transformers movie, which is disappointing. I’d give it a B-.

    • Vin Diesel

      All 3 are crap, much like your post.

      • EC

        no, crap would be your movie career, not my post.

    • Shashank

      @ec-yeah agree with was not as good as the first but on par with the second.This movie has better emotional wuotient than revenge of enjoyable movie.

  • Jay

    Pirates 4 does not deserve 1billion

  • jon

    i saw the Transformers 3 and it was awesome.

    ‘find jobs on careerdaddy com’

    • Get a freakin’ hobby!

      You are the reason I will never visit careerdaddy. If I were looking for a job, I would aim a little higher than someone who thought Transformers 3 was awesome. Ha!!! D-bag!

      • Paris

        Ironically your name is “get a freaking hobby”

  • Vin Diesel

    “Get a freakin’ hobby!” is my new favorite poster here. Welcome, brother.

  • Vin

    It really says a lot about the poor taste in cinema for moviegoers when a dumb and loud sci-fi film makes more in its opening weekend than a thought-provoking sci-fi film, like Inception, made in its opening weekend. I heard a radio ad for Transformers 3 in my car today, and some of the critical blurbs said it had “terrific storytelling” and that it’s “the best action movie ever.” If you think a movie that is nothing but 2 1/2 hours of explosions, bad acting, worse dialogue and infantile humor is “terrific storytelling,” then you don’t have any business being a film critic, because your taste is clearly questionable. When I heard those raves for a Transformers movie, I had to pull over because I was laughing so hard. “The best action movie ever”? Give me a break. Has that critic ever even seen Die Hard, The Terminator or The Matrix? It’s evident that they hasn’t, since the stories would probably confuse them since they probably prefer giant fighting robots over intelligent storytelling. Remember when summer blockbusters used to have quality and be entertaining, like Jaws, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark? Now, we are given dumbed-down atrocities, such as Transformers. Michael Bay is one of the worst directors working today, and shouldn’t be involved with film anymore. I guess most audiences have really low standards for movies now. That’s to be expected, since Hollywood seems to cater to simpletons nowadays.

    • Loch Ness

      Your last 2 sentences are pure gold.

    • Susan – Canada

      I so agree with you…your comments are one of the best I have seen so far.

      It does seem that all people want are explosions and all the weird stuff that comes with it.

      I love thought provoking movies, where you have to really get into the characters and the story telling.

      I loved the movie “Crash” and a girl I worked with said that she didn’t enjoy it at all. I loved the haunting music and the story line was excellent. It also won the Academy Award for best picture the year it came out. Those are the kind of movies I want to see…

      • kate

        I’m glad you enjoy thought-provoking movies, but let me provoke another thought: “Crash” was terrible.

      • Betsy

        I think I’d rather watch a Transformers movie marathon than sit through Crash again. Although both options sound pretty horrifying.

      • LaLoLa

        You reek of too much pseudo-intellectual cologne.

      • Betsy

        Actually, Crash reeked of that.

      • Melaswen

        Crash was & still is extremely overrated.

      • MesoSoup

        Crash was amazing – oh Im talking about Cronenberg’s version….sex and car crashes.. whoo-hoooo

    • Hotchkiss Gould Executive

      Steven Spielberg produced T3 and, as you point out, knows a thing or two about summer blockbusters. And Michael Bay has a strong track record of blockbusters. T3 is a fun movie. Get some popcorn, put on your 3D glasses, and watch some robots fighting each other. It’s just a movie; Get a life.

      • Oh for Christ’s sake

        Actually it’s a waste of $10-15 per ticket.

      • Lee Harvey

        Other movies provide more “fun” for less money. Stop accepting garbage.

    • LOL

      Vin (love the handle, by the way), I am in general agreement with you. I didn’t like Inception as much as you, I prefer a less willowy lead actor. Give me men like Vin Diesel or The Rock. We do need more thought provoking films, like Fast Five, not this robot crap. I enjoyed your post, cheers.

    • m1

      Hello, Dominic.

    • Mr. Know-It-All

      “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” came out at Thanksgiving, not in the summer.

  • Woot

    Here’s hoping for a 100% 2nd weekend decline for Transformers!

  • Forceful being

    You all are weird!

    • sychar

      it was worth the ticket price to see Chicago blown up real good!!!! being a packer fan, the only thing that would have made it better would be to have blown up where the bears play…

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