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July 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Forget all of those Decepticons transformed into movie critics! They were destined to be defeated — and they were, in spades, as moviegoers cold-shouldered them to make Paramount’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon the third-biggest three-day opener of all time. The Michael Bay-directed movie, excoriated by an overwhelming number of critics for what they said was an idiotic and incomprehensible plot, collected an estimated $97.4 million between Friday and Sunday. Only Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Spider-Man 3 have had bigger three-day openings. Moreover, Dark of the Moon is expected to earn an additional $18.7 million today (Monday), which would bring its domestic total since Wednesday’s late-night screenings to $180.9 million. (However, that would put it behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which raked in $215 million over its opening six days two years ago.) As for all those predictions that for the most part audiences would seek out cheaper 2D venues to see it — forget that, too! Some 60 percent of its earnings came from 3D ticket sales (versus just 40 percent for last weekend’s Cars 2). And, for the first time, IMAX venues collected more than $20 million for a movie ($23 million according to estimates). Two other “alternative” movies opened at the high end of forecasts. Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which targeted mostly female moviegoers, earned about $13 million over the three-day period, and Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez, which targeted mostly teenage girls, debuted with $7.6 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, $97.4 million; 2. Cars 2, $25.1 million; 3. Bad Teacher, $14.1 million; 4. Larry Crowne, $13 million; 5. Monte Carlo, $7.6 million; 6. Super 8, $7.5 million; 7. Green Lantern, $6.3 million; 8. Mr. Popper’s Penguins, $5.1 million; 9. Bridesmaids, $3.5 million; 10. Midnight in Paris, $3.4 million.