Box Office Guru Wrapup: New Comedies Can't Stop Transformers

Autobots fend off Horrible Bosses and a Zookeeper.

A pair of star-driven comedies couldn't keep the 3D juggernaut Transformers: Dark of the Moon from holding onto the number one spot at the worldwide box office as the Autobots held up well for an action sequel coming off of a holiday putting it on course to possibly reach the $1 billion global box office mark. The Michael Bay behemoth grossed an estimated $47M in its second weekend falling 52% from its debut frame - not bad for the third chapter in a sci-fi tentpole franchise. Last weekend's Friday-to-Sunday take did not include the opening day which helped keep the decline manageable, but still the hold for this type of film was commendable. The third Transformers flick has now banked a stellar $261M in under two weeks making it the top-grossing domestic blockbuster of 2011.


Moon is running 11% behind the pace of the last chapter Revenge of the Fallen which had banked $293.4M in 2009 after its second weekend. A final North American take of $350-360M could result putting Optimus Prime and pals in a position to possibly finish the year as the box office champ. Next weekend, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 invades and will give Transformers a major challenge. Each of the last four installments finished near the $300M mark, though 3D surcharges and fan excitement over the conclusion of the franchise should take this new one higher. Also giving a challenge will be November's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 which follows a pair of chapters that also collected about $300M a piece.

Overseas, the new Transformers continued its red hot run with an estimated $93M boosting the international take to $384M and the global haul to $645M. Some key markets showed amazing strength like Korea which dipped by 33%, the United Kingdom which slipped only 27%, and Brazil which eased just 29%. However, Russia tumbled 58%, France fell 56%, and Germany dropped 51%. Helped by 3D - both with grosses and audience excitement - Moon looks on track to smash through $600M from outside of North America.

Among non-robot films, the raunchy revenge comedy Horrible Bosses led the way opening in second place with strong results to the tune of $28.1M, according to estimates. The Warner Bros. release averaged a sturdy $9,247 from 3,040 theaters with an opening that fell in between recent successful R-rated summer comedies Bad Teacher ($31.6M) and Bridesmaids ($26.2M). With an all-star cast including Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis, Charlie Day, Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, and Jamie Foxx, Horrible Bosses offered an intriguing concept about three men fed up with their bosses who conspire to kill them. Reviews were mainly favorable helping the film reach its target audience of adults and paying ticket buyers were generally pleased with the product as its CinemaScore grade was a B+.


The Kevin James comedy Zookeeper enjoyed a respectable debut in third place with an estimated $21M from 3,482 theaters for a $6,031 average. Directed by Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer, Waterboy), the PG-rated entry marks only the second major film for James to anchor solo following the sleeper hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop which debuted to a heftier $31.8M on its way to $146.3M. But the magic didn't work this time as the critically-panned summer laugher scored a decent debut, but did not reach the kind of heights needed for an expensive $80M comedy. Rosario Dawson co-stars along with the voices of Adam Sandler, Cher, and Sylvester Stallone who take on the roles of the talking animals.

Originally produced at MGM with an expensive script, financial turmoil at the studio led to Zookeeper shifting over to Sony. The story of an animal caretaker that gets dating advice from his zoo attractions scored a mediocre B+ grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore. 53% of the crowd was female while 59% was over 25. James did, however, fare better than the last big-name comedian offering an animal-oriented kidpic beating the $18.4M bow of last month's Mr. Popper's Penguins. That Jim Carrey project earned better reviews plus a higher CinemaScore grade and is on course to end with 3.5 times its opening weekend tally.


After hitting the brakes in its second lap, the 3D toon Cars 2 stabilized in its third weekend dropping 42% to an estimated $15.2M boosting the 17-day total for Disney and Pixar to $148.8M. That puts it 5% behind the $156.7M of the first Lightning McQueen pic from the summer of 2006. Though a small gap, it will quickly get bigger as the first Cars banked a stronger $23M in its third frame and the Fourth of July holiday didn't occur until later. Cars 2 looks on course to finish its domestic run in the same vicinity as Ratatouille's $206.4M which was the lowest-grossing Pixar film from the last dozen years.


Cameron Diaz's comedy Bad Teacher followed with an estimated $9M, off a good 38%, for a $78.8M total for Sony. It looks set to become the 11th $100M+ grosser for Diaz. Tom Hanks, another star with a string of hits making it into the century club, saw a large decline for his directorial flop Larry Crowne which fell 52% to an estimated $6.3M. Universal was hoping that the older-skewing dramedy would have legs since mature adults don't rush out on opening weekend, but bad word-of-mouth ruined the day. With only $26.5M in ten days, Crowne should fizzle out with a disappointing $40-45M by the end of its run.

The J.J. Abrams sci-fi hit Super 8 slipped 39% to an estimated $4.8M giving Paramount $118.1M to date. Led by young stars but not filling up theaters, Fox's Monte Carlo dropped 49% to an estimated $3.8M in its sophomore session. With only $16.1M in ten days, the Selena Gomez vehicle should end up with about $25M.

Fading fast, the super hero pic Green Lantern fell 52% to an estimated $3.1M lifting the underwhelming cume for the big-budget production to only $109.7M. Rounding out the top ten was Jim Carrey's kidpic Mr. Popper's Penguins with an estimated $2.9M, down 49%, for a $57.7M sum.

The critically-acclaimed music documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest platformed to solid results in just three New York theaters and a solo Los Angeles house grossing an estimated $120,000 for an impressive $30,004 average. Fans rushed out upfront as the opening day accounted for 38% of the weekend - high for a specialty film - while Saturday dropped by 16%. Showered with glowing reviews, the R-rated hip hop film expands Friday to 15 more sites and will continue to reach more markets through August.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $141.2M which was down 23% from last year when Despicable Me opened in the top spot with $56.4M; but up 7% from 2009 when Brüno debuted at number one with $30.6M.

Written by Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!

Comments

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

I'm impressed by horrible bosses, this has truly been the summer of the r rated comedy. I also think it could hold on to number 2 next weekend if transformers falls too badly from potter's arrival next week. Speaking of potter, I think it could break dark knight's opening weekend record, mostly because of the 3-d. It definitely has the audience to do it, considering the first broke the record when it was realeased.

Jul 10 - 07:30 PM

TheAnimatorRator

Megan Gierasch

Exactly what I was thinking (on both counts). Havn't seen Horrible Bosses yet, but I did see Bridesmaids, which was amazing. Its been a long time since there's been this many decent comedies in a row.
As for Harry Potter, I am freaking excited for that, I mean who isnt? Anyways other than that fact, Im pretty sure Potter 7.2 will make record breaking loads of cash, but not necesarilly from 3-D ticket sales. I've seen more people shying away from 3-D lately (including myself) and in this case its simply not necessary. The last seven films have all been 2-D, why switch it up now?
One more thing: Although it will probobly not do that well in the box office (Disney picked a shit weekend to release it) I hope the new Winnie the Pooh movie does ok. It just makes me glad Disney has finally returned to its roots of cell-animation (and I adore Piglet too). Hope Disney does not mistake the lack of cash flow as a lack of interest in their traditional animation department. :P

Jul 10 - 08:36 PM

quietus28

jj l

Horrible Bosses was hilarious. Not a moment when something amusing wasn't being said or happening on screen. Amazed at the legs of Transformers 3, especially given the critical drubbing, but what do you expect from a vacuous audience that made Transformers 2 the #1 movie of 2009, even beating out the superb Star Trek?

Jul 11 - 11:29 AM

Seth D.

Seth Daniels

Come again? You're entitled to your opinion on audience vacuity, but I see no basis for calling Transformers 2 crap at the same time you call Star Trek "superb." Both were whiz-bang sci-fi romps long on visuals and short on substance. One was a sequel, the other a re-boot. For my money TF-2 had better visuals, though that does depend on your tolerance for shaky-cam, but it's close regardless. ST had slightly better characterization, as they had one- Spock- with an actual character arc.

But really, neither made any attempt to explore the big, tough questions, or create truly memorable/heartbreaking scenes. In other words, Transformers was very close to its source material, while Star Trek changed a lot. I happened to enjoy both, guess I'm the "vacuous" type, but neither one was a great movie. As to why the reviews were so different, I imagine its because critics hate Michael Bay, and how he makes money despite their screeching, while they loooove J.J. Abrams.

Jul 11 - 03:08 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Within just the first 10 minutes of Star Trek they created a heartbreaking scene of substance (Kirk's father) that I'm not ashamed to admit, actually had me a little choked up in the theater. It just got better from there, and I feel Kirk himself had an arc along with Spock. In addition, the scenes going for humor were actually funny and on a more adult level, unlike each "funny" part in TF2 which was dead in the water - I guess unless a robot humping a leg is your thing. As far as action/visuals, with Star Trek I could actually tell what was happening, whereas with TF2, not only could I not tell what was going on, since the characters were so poorly written I hardly cared who it was happening to anyhow.

Jul 12 - 06:01 AM

ballermat982

ballermat 982

Yep, but I'm betting friends with benefits will break that streak. Although Mila is a goddess.

Jul 11 - 01:01 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I don't know man. When I saw the initial trailers I thought Friends with Benefits is different from No Strings Attached how? Except you got you stars of That 70's Show and Black Swan all in one with Mila Kunis?, but after seeing the preview before Horrible Bosses it didn't look nearly as horrible. This could be the final proof we were looking for to incontrovertably prove the worthlessness of Ashton Kutcher in film. Maybe after he falls on his face on Two and a Half Men we can finally be free of him and his jackassery.

Jul 11 - 04:47 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

I wish. But there is still a large contingent of females that think he is hot and hilarious, so i doubt he is going away any time soon. Is he really that good at playing an idiot (which those girls/women find "cute) or does it come naturally? I would guess the former.

Jul 13 - 04:41 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

Maybe i should be considered an idiot too. I meant the latter, obviously.

Jul 13 - 04:43 AM

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Jul 15 - 06:36 AM

Steve R.

Jared Ashkenaz

Why is a B+ good for Horrible Bosses but mediocre for Zookeeper?

Saw Horrible Bosses and thought it was very funny.

Jul 10 - 07:50 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Because Zookeeper probally had mostly kids, who are generally give out A+ very easily, thus it should had at least garnered a A-

Jul 10 - 07:54 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I was wondering the same thing....

Jul 10 - 08:04 PM

The Paki Don

Shahbaz Sarwar

Gitesh Pandya, the author of the article, had just started eating breakfast while writing about Horrible Bosses and was in a good mood. Then he started eating and the milk in his cereal was sour, so he got pissed, but since he had a deadline, he continued writing, which resulted in his slightly skewed interpretation of the same grade. True story.

Jul 11 - 01:43 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Yay for Europe! Today, I'm proud to be Russian - fuck Transformers. Kinda wanna see Horrible Bosses now, but on BD, not gonna waste my monies on teh cinema ticketz.

Next week Hairy Otter!

Jul 10 - 07:53 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Lol did you misspell his name on purpose?

Jul 10 - 11:45 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Nein! Ich werde probieren Hairy Otter. Du verstehen?

Jul 11 - 03:15 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I thought you were Russian or are you just teasing Herr Weisenheimer?

Jul 11 - 06:05 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Sorry, but I can only speak English and French, not German. Wait, how can you speak German?

Jul 11 - 11:24 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

lol, Google translate:)

Jul 11 - 01:58 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Because Zookeeper probally had mostly kids, who are generally give out A+ very easily, thus it should had at least garnered a A-

Jul 10 - 07:54 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

This should not be a suprise, there was no way Bosses was going to trump Bayformers, and Zookeeper was bound to debut middle of the road.

Jul 10 - 08:04 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I was wondering the same thing....

Jul 10 - 08:04 PM

Isaac

Isaac H

Surprised and glad that TF3's drop was so small. I'm a little surprised that Horrible Bosses didn't beat Bad Teacher's gross, even though it did do well. But most of all, I'm shocked that Zookeeper didn't completely bomb. How does a film with such horrendous reviews and terrible trailers break the 20M mark?

Jul 10 - 08:15 PM

CoreyG

Corey Gallagher

Kevin James.

Jul 11 - 03:08 AM

Isaac

Isaac H

Apparently so. I've always thought he was painfully unfunny in all the rolls I've seen him in (i.e. Chuck and Larry)

Jul 11 - 09:24 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

He is painfully unfunny, or at least his roles are. But you can see why kids love him with the stupid faces he makes and slapstick comedy he implements.

Jul 11 - 11:10 AM

CoreyG

Corey Gallagher

I like Kevin James on King of Queens, I haven't been a fan of his film roles, although I blame that on Happy Madison just being a shitty production company.

Jul 11 - 03:44 PM

Frisby2007

Frisby 2007

Because despite the latest shitty movies he's been in, Kevin James rocks & his face on the screen can make people go crazy for his movies at the box office.

Jul 11 - 03:26 PM

Ken W.

Ken Wolfson

Giant Robot fights just appeal to more people then intelligent dark comedies, thats all there is to it.

Jul 10 - 08:16 PM

Eric M.

Eric McInnis

The only ones that interest me on this list is Horrible Bosses, Super 8, and Cars 2

Jul 10 - 08:27 PM

TheAnimatorRator

Megan Gierasch

Exactly what I was thinking (on both counts). Havn't seen Horrible Bosses yet, but I did see Bridesmaids, which was amazing. Its been a long time since there's been this many decent comedies in a row.
As for Harry Potter, I am freaking excited for that, I mean who isnt? Anyways other than that fact, Im pretty sure Potter 7.2 will make record breaking loads of cash, but not necesarilly from 3-D ticket sales. I've seen more people shying away from 3-D lately (including myself) and in this case its simply not necessary. The last seven films have all been 2-D, why switch it up now?
One more thing: Although it will probobly not do that well in the box office (Disney picked a shit weekend to release it) I hope the new Winnie the Pooh movie does ok. It just makes me glad Disney has finally returned to its roots of cell-animation (and I adore Piglet too). Hope Disney does not mistake the lack of cash flow as a lack of interest in their traditional animation department. :P

Jul 10 - 08:36 PM

quietus28

jj l

Horrible Bosses was hilarious. Not a moment when something amusing wasn't being said or happening on screen. Amazed at the legs of Transformers 3, especially given the critical drubbing, but what do you expect from a vacuous audience that made Transformers 2 the #1 movie of 2009, even beating out the superb Star Trek?

Jul 11 - 11:29 AM

Seth D.

Seth Daniels

Come again? You're entitled to your opinion on audience vacuity, but I see no basis for calling Transformers 2 crap at the same time you call Star Trek "superb." Both were whiz-bang sci-fi romps long on visuals and short on substance. One was a sequel, the other a re-boot. For my money TF-2 had better visuals, though that does depend on your tolerance for shaky-cam, but it's close regardless. ST had slightly better characterization, as they had one- Spock- with an actual character arc.

But really, neither made any attempt to explore the big, tough questions, or create truly memorable/heartbreaking scenes. In other words, Transformers was very close to its source material, while Star Trek changed a lot. I happened to enjoy both, guess I'm the "vacuous" type, but neither one was a great movie. As to why the reviews were so different, I imagine its because critics hate Michael Bay, and how he makes money despite their screeching, while they loooove J.J. Abrams.

Jul 11 - 03:08 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

Within just the first 10 minutes of Star Trek they created a heartbreaking scene of substance (Kirk's father) that I'm not ashamed to admit, actually had me a little choked up in the theater. It just got better from there, and I feel Kirk himself had an arc along with Spock. In addition, the scenes going for humor were actually funny and on a more adult level, unlike each "funny" part in TF2 which was dead in the water - I guess unless a robot humping a leg is your thing. As far as action/visuals, with Star Trek I could actually tell what was happening, whereas with TF2, not only could I not tell what was going on, since the characters were so poorly written I hardly cared who it was happening to anyhow.

Jul 12 - 06:01 AM

Alexson Philip

Alexson Philipiah

w.e, Harry potter will take it over nex week, altho I am a bit worried it might affect Captain Americas B.O as well.

side fact: did you kno that in the year 2007 the total amount that the harry potter series (books, movies, games,etc) are all worth is 15 billion.

WHAT THE FUK!? 15 billion...wow...and after 5 movie and 7 books only... that is amazing and the tomato meter of 100% is making me more happy plus an average rating of 8.1 AND 20 reviews so far.

Jul 10 - 08:46 PM

Opposite Girl

Kortaka West

Zookeeper should have opened at #1!! It is the best movie that has come out so far this year!

Jul 10 - 08:52 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Wait, do you really think that, or are you just living up to your name of opposite girl?

Jul 10 - 08:54 PM

General Wiz

Carlos Flores

Wait, do you really think that, or are you just living up to your name of opposite girl?

Jul 10 - 08:54 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

For the first time I actually don't care about this news. :P

Jul 10 - 11:44 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Lol did you misspell his name on purpose?

Jul 10 - 11:45 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

Nein! Ich werde probieren Hairy Otter. Du verstehen?

Jul 11 - 03:15 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

I thought you were Russian or are you just teasing Herr Weisenheimer?

Jul 11 - 06:05 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Sorry, but I can only speak English and French, not German. Wait, how can you speak German?

Jul 11 - 11:24 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

lol, Google translate:)

Jul 11 - 01:58 PM

Superzone

Link O'Fett

Enjoy your #1 spot while it lasts Bay, because Harry Potter is going to blow TF3 out of the freaking water soon enough.

Jul 10 - 11:46 PM

manwithoutfear19

Daniel Raimondi

potter will destroy box office

Jul 11 - 10:07 AM

Dave J

Dave J

I don`t think it`s going to break the very first Harry Potter film in terms of boxoffice- the film is going to do well but are those same people going to come and see it over and over!

Jul 13 - 04:04 PM

Luvagoo

Tallulah Robinson

Cue - evil laugh.

Jul 13 - 04:21 AM

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