Transformers: Dark of the Moon ruled the box office as expected this weekend, but was not as dominant as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The two other new releases were dead on arrival as both Larry Crowne and Monte Carlo had extremely disappointing debuts. My predictions were not very strong this weekend as I did predict all five films in the top five, placing three of them in order, but I was way off in the estimates of how all five films would perform. Here’s how the weekend broke down:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon debuted in 1st place this weekend with a gross of $97.4 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $82 million). Transformers: Dark of the Moon had a per theatre average of $24,271, which was the best per theatre average of any film in release as of this writing. Although, the opening weekend was dominant, it did not have the best opening weekend in the franchise. See below:
Transformers – $70.5 million opening weekend
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – $108.9 million opening weekend
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $97.4 million opening weekend
The series is not as popular as it once was and that is not uncommon with the third entry of a franchise. Audience fatigue sets in and the franchise is not as relevant or important to pop culture anymore (and this is not the first time this has happened to the Transformers as they were big in the 80’s only to become non-relevant until the live-action films were released). Audiences know what to expect from the Transformers films and critical reaction has no impact on audiences checking this film out whatsoever. Still, no one should be complaining about the performance of the Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Since its opening day on Wednesday, it has grossed $162.1 million and has almost made back its budget of $195 million, which makes Paramount and DreamWorks extremely happy.
Cars 2 dropped from 1st place to 2nd place with a gross of $25.1 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $34.3 million). Cars 2 had a per theatre average of $6,103 and dropped a whopping 62% in its second weekend. The 62% second weekend drop was the highest second weekend drop in Pixar history, which is not a good sign for the film. The drop does make sense as this is a sequel, so there is more demand up front and the bad reviews did not help bring in new audiences, who might have been interested in the film. The drop is still surprising because the Cars brand is one of the most popular amongst kids, but the magic touch of Pixar does not seem to be working for Cars 2. In 10 days, Cars 2 has grossed $116 million from a budget of $200 million. The good thing about the film is that family films tend to perform steady throughout the summer, so it should be able to make back its budget from its domestic earnings alone. We’ll have to wait and see.
Dropping from 2nd place to 3rd place is the Cameron Diaz//Jason Segel comedy Bad Teacher with a gross of $14.1 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $18 million). Bad Teacher had a per theatre average of $4,624 and dropped 55.4% from last weekend. Although the drop was high, this film is a moneymaker for Sony Pictures as after 10 days it has grossed $59.5 million from a budget of $20 million.
Debuting in 4th place is the Tom Hanks//Julia Roberts romantic comedy Larry Crowne with a very disappointing debut of $13 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a gross of $22 million). Larry Crowne had a per theatre average of $4,375, which is not good. This goes to show me that the star power of Hanks and Roberts is no longer as strong as it once was and the ad campaign made the film look too generic for audiences (there really was no hook except to see Hanks and Roberts in the same film, which wasn’t much of a hook as they had already appeared together in Charlie Wilson’s War). Larry Crowne did not cost that much to make (the budget is reportedly $30 million) and I’m sure adult audiences will support it in the coming weeks, but this has to be considered a major disappointment for both Hanks and Roberts.
Monte Carlo debuted in 5th place with a terrible gross of $7.6 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $12 million). Monte Carlo had a per theatre average of $3,073. This goes to show me that Selena Gomez does not have enough star power with younger audiences to anchor a film and she still needs the Disney brand to support her to some degree. The film cost $20 million to make for 20th Century Fox, so they will not make or lose a lot of money from Monte Carlo but I’m sure they hoped the film could gross at least $10 million this weekend.
The films in limited release have yet to release their weekend grosses.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $82 million
Cars 2 – $34.3 million
Larry Crowne – $22 million
Bad Teacher – $18 million
Monte Carlo – $12 million
And here are the actual numbers:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $97.4 million
Cars 2 – $25.1 million
Bad Teacher – $14.1 million
Larry Crowne – $13 million
Monte Carlo – $7.6 million
Next weekend, two comedies get released with the hopes of dethroning Transformers: Dark of the Moon from the top of the box office. The first film is Zookeeper starring Kevin James and the second film is Horrible Bosses starring Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!