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Whisper Numbers: Transformers looms large over the holiday weekend.

Fireworks are set to go off this Independence Day weekend as Autobots battle Decepticons for the third time in Transformers: Dark of the Moon [TFRM3]. Shia LaBeouf [SLABE] leads the cast new and old (minus Megan Fox), but the giant robots are without a doubt the main attractions. This time around, director Michael Bay [MBAY] has gone 3D, which he and Paramount won’t let you forget in the ubiquitous promotion for the PG-13 rated spectacle. While 3D offers higher ticket prices, moviegoers have grown weary of paying extra this year. Although the previous installment Revenge of the Fallen took in $200 million during its first 5 days in 2009, the film left a poor taste in the mouth of audiences and lessened their appetite for another film. That’s been proved true when Dark of the Moon opened with $37.2 million for its first full day Wednesday, falling short of the $62 million Revenge of the Fallen grossed on its opening day, also a Wednesday.   Dark of the Moon appears to have better word of mouth than Revenge of the Fallen, but non-fans may already feel burnt out.  Rolling out in 4011 theaters, Transformers: Dark of the Moon could still uncover $95 million for the holiday weekend from Friday to Monday and $157 million since its opening Tuesday night.

The non-tranforming Cars 2 [CARS2] from Disney should hold up despite so-so reviews. Families will still shell out for the Pixar sequel to the tune of about $55 million over the 4-day holiday weekend.

For older adults not interested in talking cars, Universal counter-programs the weekend with the romantic comedy Larry Crowne [LCROW]. Tom Hanks [THANK] and Julia Roberts [JROBE] are appealing and bankable stars, but the story about a middle age man going back to community college has generated little buzz. Reviews on the PG-13 rated film have been mixed, which could dissuade the targeted older moviegoers. Opening in 2972 theaters, Larry Crowne may book around $20 million through the long weekend.

Although Bad Teacher [BDTCH] packed attendance during its opening weekend, moviegoers graded the film poorly, which could translate into negative word of mouth. Bad Teacher looks to score another $19 million over the holiday weekend.

Fox targets tween and teen girls with the PG-rated comedy Monte Carlo [MONTC]. Selena Gomez [SGOME], Leighton Meester [LMEES] and Katie Cassidy [KCASS] play Americans on an European vacation who get whisked away into a fairy tale-sque adventure. The film should approximate Gomez’s Ramona and Beezus that tallied $7.8 million last year. With an extra day, Monte Carlo could bank $9 million from 2472 theaters.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.


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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, June 30, 2011 @ 03:11 PM 3388 views

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