Paramount's Transformers: Dark of the Moon was off to a terrific start this week with a four-day holiday gross of $115.89 million. The blockbuster 3D sci-fi action sequel has now grossed $180.65 million after 6+ days of wide release. That places Dark of the Moon 16 percent behind the pace of 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and 16 percent ahead of the pace of 2007's Transformers. While Dark of the Moon is running behind the pace of Revenge of the Fallen, it is holding up much better than Revenge of the Fallen did during its first few days of release thanks to better early word of mouth and help from the Independence Day holiday weekend. Dark of the Moon has also been helped out greatly by 3D admissions being responsible for 60 percent of its grosses thus far. 3D grosses and stronger word of mouth could help Dark of the Moon continue to hold up better than Revenge of the Fallen going forward.
IMAX grosses also helped Transformers: Dark of the Moon in a big way. The film has grossed a record breaking $23.1 million in worldwide IMAX sales thus far. The breakdown of that figure includes $14 million domestically from 146 locations and $9.1 million internationally from 105 locations.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon achieved a number of domestic milestones this weekend. With a three-day start of $97.85 million, the film was responsible for the year's largest opening weekend to date (topping the $90.15 million start of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). Without taking into account ticket price inflation, Dark of the Moon also registered the largest Independence Day three-day weekend performance of all time (topping the $88.16 million start of 2004's Spider-Man 2). The film also generated the third largest July opening weekend on record, behind only 2008's The Dark Knight and 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
As impressive as Transformers: Dark of the Moon was domestically, the film was even more impressive internationally this past week. Dark of the Moon has already grossed $217 million internationally from 58 markets, which places it a whopping 55 percent ahead of the international pace of Revenge of the Fallen. 3D grosses were responsible for 70 percent of the international grosses of Dark of the Moon. The film's international performance was highlighted by a record breaking $30.0 million start in Korea. Other key international grosses included $22.0 million in Russia, $16.5 million in the United Kingdom and Ireland, $16.1 million in Australia, $14.3 million in Germany and $11.0 million in Mexico. The worldwide total for Transformers: Dark of the Moon stands at $397.7 million.
After a very solid start last weekend, Disney's Cars 2 fell a rough 52 percent to gross $31.63 million over the four-day frame. Word of mouth is apparently mirroring the film's lackluster reviews, as the film's second weekend decline was unheard of by Pixar's lofty standards. With that said, Cars 2 has still grossed $122.56 million through eleven days of release and could stabilize going forward given the limited amount of true family films throughout the rest of the summer. Cars 2 is currently running 1 percent ahead of the pace of 2006's Cars and 7 percent behind the pace of 2008's WALL-E. Cars 2 reached the $100 million milestone on Saturday, its ninth day of release.
Internationally, Cars 2 grossed $24.4 million over the 4-day frame. That places the film's international total at $84.5 million and worldwide total at $207.1 million.
In other Disney news, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides reached the $1 billion worldwide milestone this weekend. The blockbuster sequel starring Johnny Depp is just the eighth film of all-time to reach that milestone. The worldwide total for On Stranger Tides currently stands at $1.009 billion, with international grosses being responsible for $774.7 million of its gross.
Universal's Larry Crowne debuted on the lower end of expectations with an underwhelming four-day fourth place start of $16.10 million. The Tom Hanks directed film starring Hanks and Julia Roberts was unable to draw in younger moviegoers, as a massive 81 percent of its audience was 35 and older. With the film skewing that heavily towards older moviegoers, there is a good possibility that Larry Crowne could hold up well going forward, especially since it did experience a 17 percent increase over Friday on Saturday. With a production budget of $30 million, Larry Crowne was also relativity inexpensive for a high-profile summer release.
The weekend's other new wide release, Fox's Monte Carlo, opened in sixth place with a four-day start of $8.59 million. The Selena Gomez vehicle opened in line with its modest expectations and slightly below the $8.94 million last year's Ramona and Beezus grossed during its first four days of release. Monte Carlo was heavily front-loaded towards Friday's $3.15 million start, which is commonplace for films aimed at younger girls during the summer. The film grossed an additional $1.3 million internationally this weekend, from 11 mostly smaller foreign markets, the highlight being $0.7 million in Russia.
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Additional Reporting by Phil Contrino.