‘Transformers’ Declares Independence Day Record

Nothing says America like “Transformers.” The third film in the robot-infested action series, “Dark of the Moon,” broke the four-day Fourth of July weekend record with an estimated $116.4 million, also good for the highest opening of 2011 just ahead of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” 

Not all was perfect for the three-quel, however, as its six-day total, according to Box Office Mojo, sits $40 million behind the last film, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” The sour taste that film left in most movie goers mouths likely caused the drop in attendance that not even the added 3-D premiums could erase. Approximately 60 percent of “Dark of the Moon’s” gross can be attributed to 3-D ticket sales, much better than recent summer films offered in the extra dimension, but not as strong as when the format first wowed in the days of “Avatar.”

Even then, “Dark of the Moon” stands to be the first film to gross $300 million domestically this year. The next closest would be “The Hangover Part II,” which currently sits at about $250 million. The overseas box office has largely been responsible for helping along these strong but not-quite-behemoth blockbusters. “On Stranger Tides,” for example, ranks as the seventh biggest film of all time in the world with just over $1 billion, but only 23 percent coming from North American wallets.

Look for “Dark of the Moon” to risk losing its 2011 crown to “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” which opens in two weeks.


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