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July 1, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Moviegoers are not going to transform Transformers: Dark of the Moon into a bigger hit than 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but the latest sequel appears to be on track to open with the highest-grossing debut of the year, probably around $150 million for the six-day Independence Day holiday, according to box-office forecasters. The Paramount film opened Wednesday with $37.3 million, the best opening day of the year, but 40 percent below the $62 million that Fallen collected when it opened in 2009. Unlike some other mammoth tentpole films that have opened this summer, the Transformers movie does have some competition facing it. There’s the female-skewing Larry Crowne, starring box-office icons Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and the tween comedy Monte Carlo, featuring Selena Gomez. The buzz for both of those movies, however, has been bad and the reviews have been worse. Crowne is expected to take in about $12-15 million; Monte Carlo, $8-10 million. The film likely to give Transformers its stiffest competition is last week’s winner, Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2, which is likely to ear $30-35 million. Also opening in New York and Los Angeles is the critically praised Sundance hit Terri.