Box Office Guru Preview: "Transformers" Already Dominating Holiday Week

Megatron and his sinister robot chums invade the North American box office aiming to extract riches from the multiplexes over the extended Fourth of July holiday week with the tentpole action vehicle "Transformers."

Also entering the marketplace, but likely to gross only a fraction of the cash, is the comedy "License to Wed" starring Robin Williams. With Independence Day falling on a Wednesday, moviegoers have all different kinds of schedules with some having only one day off from work while others are taking extra time for themselves. That will make for a tricky box office trajectory since ticket buyers have many films to choose from and many days to make their trip to cinemas.

Paramount sets off the fireworks with "Transformers" which already got an early start to the holiday week with a strong $8.8M in ticket sales on Monday night with shows beginning at 8pm. The PG-13 film from director Michael Bay is adapted from the popular toys and cartoon series that became a cult favorite in the 1980s, but instead has been geared up to fit modern summer movie standards with action, humor, and plenty of special effects. Shia LaBeouf stars alongside Tyrese Gibson, Jon Voight, Anthony Anderson, and John Turturro.

[Editor's Note: "Transformers" broke records for having the biggest opening on a Tuesday at $27.9 million, according to Boxofficemojo.com. As of Wednesday night (the original "official" release date), "Transformers" had raked in $36.7 million at the box office -- a figure that grants the flick the title of Best 4th of July opening ever. That number (what many have pointed out amounts to over $36 million in 36 hours of release, or $1 million per hour and $16,666 per minute) results from the Paramount release's $8.8 million Monday night take combined with $27.9 million on Tuesday. An additional $29.1 million from Wednesday's moviegoers bumps the current "Transformers" box office to $65.7 million -- and there are four more days to go.]

"Transformers" is trying hard to follow in the footsteps of "Independence Day" which eleven years ago this week wreaked havoc on the box office with a Fourth of July opening week gross of $96.1M over five and a half days beginning with Tuesday night shows starting earlier at 6pm. That would amount to about $125M at today's ticket prices from 1,129 fewer theaters than what the robots in disguise now control. Both films are essentially disaster pictures about alien forces that invade Earth that are driven by amazing special effects and feature ensemble casts with no huge stars.

The fanboy crowd has been energized for months for "Transformers" so that vote is locked in. To really see the grosses soar, Paramount and DreamWorks will need non-fans to pony up the dough and take interest not because they remember watching the cartoon as a kid, but because it looks and feels like good escapist summer fare. Luckily the pic delivers on that. Appeal to teens and young adults is potent but older adults looking for action may be tempted to buy a ticket for Bruce Willis in the latest "Die Hard" sequel. In addition, younger children afraid of mean transforming robots will instead line up for "Ratatouille." But so far reviews have been pretty good for its genre and fans are giving high marks too as witnessed by the encouraging A- average grade from over 6,000 votes on Yahoo Movies.

Other effects-driven sci-fi action tentpoles opening over this extended holiday week include 2002's "Men in Black II" with $87.2M over five days, 2003's R-rated "Terminator 3" with $72.4M over five and a half days, and $100.5M over five days for "War of the Worlds" in 2005. Optimus Prime should soar higher since it has a full six and a half days of play this week by the time Sunday night arrives. Invading 4,011 theaters, "Transformers" might gross about $67M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and a stellar $130M from Monday night through Sunday.


"Transformers"

Taking one of his worst beatings from critics in years, Oscar winner Robin Williams hit multiplexes on Tuesday with his latest comedy "License to Wed" playing a wacky priest who puts a newly engaged couple through a series of tests before marrying them. The PG-13 film stars Mandy Moore and "The Office"'s John Krasinski as the lucky twosome. The Warner Bros. title is slotted into this extra long holiday week as counter-programming to the Decepticons and hopes to appeal to women and adult couples not interested in the summer's umpteenth action extravaganza.

Aside from the former Mork, "License" has no real starpower at the box office. Even Williams has struggled to pack them in on opening weekend in recent years. His last film "Man of the Year" bowed to $12.3M last fall. Word-of-mouth is not likely to be very positive and if anything, the early opening may spread bad buzz as by Friday many will hear from friends that they should avoid this pic. The midweek debut will also dilute the weekend numbers too. A stronger title could have excelled this week with the target audience given all the testosterone flicks, but this one just doesn't have the goods. Opening in 2,401 theaters, "License to Wed" might collect about $11M over the weekend and $18M during the extended Tuesday-to-Sunday debut period.


"License to Wed"

Disney and Pixar enjoyed a brief three-day stint in the number one spot last weekend with "Ratatouille" before being pushed aside by the Autobots on Monday. Second weekend drops for Pixar's summer toons include 44% for last year's "Cars" and a slimmer 34% for 2003's "Finding Nemo." The rodent flick is well-liked by moviegoers and competition for younger children is not too direct this coming weekend so a decline in between those two may result. A 35% drop would give "Ratatouille" about $30M for the weekend and a ten-day cume of $109M.


"Ratatouille"

Bruce Willis will have his hands full with "Live Free or Die Hard" on the second weekend thanks to fierce direct competition from "Transformers." A 50% drop would not be surprising and would give Fox around $16.5M for the session boosting the 12-day tally to $83M. Universal's "Evan Almighty" should continue its rapid slide and dip by 45% to roughly $8M. That would put the Steve Carell comedy at $78M after 17 days.


LAST YEAR: After a long four-year term as the top opening of all-time, "Spider-Man" had its record stolen by Captain Jack as "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" crushed the industry mark with an eye-popping three-day bow of $135.6M. The Disney smash easily became the biggest blockbuster of the year with $423.3M domestically and a towering $1.065 billion worldwide and it still stands as the third largest global grosser of all-time. "Superman Returns" tumbled down to second place falling by a disturbing 59% to $21.8M for Warner Bros. Fox's "The Devil Wears Prada" enjoyed a better sophomore hold dropping 46% to $15M for third place. Rounding out the top five were Adam Sandler's "Click" with $11.9M for Sony and Disney/Pixar's "Cars" with $10.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Source: Boxofficemojo.com

Comments

Oedipus&TheMarmishBoy

Dan Ruch

[b]Biggest Tuesday ever[/b]
Can anyone name a movie that opened on a Tuesday? The only one I can think of is last year when The Omen opened on 6-6-06.

Jul 5 - 05:49 PM

SHARTRON

dustin krone

[b]Maybe next time...[/b]
they'll have at least decent writing for Transformers. It was pretty amateurish. What a waste of acting talent with Turturro and Voight relegated to terrible dialogue and having to strip down into boxers and an S7 undershirt. So childish.

Jul 5 - 06:44 PM

Kid_Ikarus

Josh Thornton

HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER

Jul 5 - 11:12 PM

SHARTRON

dustin krone

[b]Kid Ikarus[/b]
MY OPINION MORON

Jul 6 - 01:29 PM

kendrith1975

Ken Tsoi

DIE HARD 4.0 actually hold up well on July 4th, off 33% from its opening day which is a regular Wednesay, despite the arrival of TRANSFORMERS. At this current pace, a drop of less than 50% this weekend is likely, which would be another impressive hold for a sequel since OCEAN 13 drop off 45% on its sophomore weekend.

Question now is, did TRANSFORMERS already exhaust too much of its upfront demand from fans? If it will gross 67 million as boxoffice guru put, Its sopohmore weekend business is certainly going to decline more heftily than normal for a non-sequel event picture, I will say 60%., but then again in the summer season, the mid-week business will be solid and more than compensate!

Jul 5 - 09:06 PM

screwhead100

Ben Wellick

[b]i duno[/b]
i think with the great word of mouth i have been hearing from this movie, it is really going to give transformers a boost........

Jul 5 - 10:35 PM

Kid_Ikarus

Josh Thornton

HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER
HATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATERHATER

Jul 5 - 11:12 PM

SHARTRON

dustin krone

[b]Kid Ikarus[/b]
MY OPINION MORON

Jul 6 - 01:29 PM

screwhead100

Ben Wellick

[b]I[/b]
kind of agree that Voight was wasted talent in this pic.........he did fine, but anybody could of played the role with the dialogue they gave him....

Jul 6 - 01:01 AM

barnaby Jones

Andy Webster

[b]Die Hard is the best film of the bunch.[/b]
It deserves the best holdover.

Jul 6 - 02:51 AM

curtis

filmboy O'Bryant

Transformers wasgreat. WOM is great also. rotten tomateos has 702 good reviews and 123 bad reviews. IMDB hasit on the top 250 at 203.

Jul 6 - 04:52 AM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

Trans will get at least 70 this weekend. word of mouth is ridiculous and its BY FAR the best movie of the summer.

what exactly do you guys want from Voight and Turturro? the joHn's both did fine, and turtorro was hilarious. complaining...about good actors being in a movie? yeah...thats like complaining your girlfriend is too hot...boo frikkin hoo

Jul 6 - 05:37 AM

Vitamin M

Matthew Haynes

[b]My girlfriend, Megan Fox, is too hot.[/b]
Anyway Transformers may be exhuasted by it's sophmore frame because of the early release but that's what the studio was trying to do, pack everyone in to see Transformers before Harry Potter shows up to steal their thunder.

but anway Transformers is awesome. I loved it and I'm going to try and make my wife go see it with me again this weekend. (not Megan Fox, she dumped me for that 90210 dork).

I've also heard from trusted sources that Die Hard is another action extravaganza that I can't miss so I'll probably go see that one too. That's a lot of movie watching even for me. but as good as Transformers is I can't help it.
Transformers beats the crap out of Spiderman and every other boring blockbuster film that's come out this year.

Jul 6 - 07:27 AM

SHARTRON

dustin krone

[b]Gimy[/b]
I'm not complaining about them being good actors. It's about their talents being wasted on a garbage script! I was 12 when the original TF came out, so don't give me crap if I'm a tad bit disappointed with the film. I was very excited when I walked into the theatre, annoyed when I left. How did Starscream let Megatron down again when it was Megatron who was frozen forever in the ice? Starscream was there to save his a**! I know the line is from the original cartoon but it was wasted in that scene. And I LOVED the whole chihuahua/Bumblebee peefest. Pure class!

Jul 6 - 01:38 PM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

I think Starscream letting Megatron down was meant to be a past-reference. Megatron is their leader, so it isn't far fetched to believe they've had other missions in the past and Starscream always screws them up. Makes sense.

The peeing thing was hilarious.

Gotta say, don't see how people could not like this movie.. ESPECIALLY TRANSFORMERS fans. I mean, how could you do a TRANSFORMERS movie any better? The story wasn't great and the acting forgettable, but this is one of those movies where those aren't the selling points of the flick. Put it this way, if you're going into a TRANSFORMERS movie for a good story and award winning acting... (insert smirk here) you're missing the whole point of the flick, kids.

Jul 6 - 09:51 PM

Vitamin M

Matthew Haynes

[b]My girlfriend, Megan Fox, is too hot.[/b]
Anyway Transformers may be exhuasted by it's sophmore frame because of the early release but that's what the studio was trying to do, pack everyone in to see Transformers before Harry Potter shows up to steal their thunder.

but anway Transformers is awesome. I loved it and I'm going to try and make my wife go see it with me again this weekend. (not Megan Fox, she dumped me for that 90210 dork).

I've also heard from trusted sources that Die Hard is another action extravaganza that I can't miss so I'll probably go see that one too. That's a lot of movie watching even for me. but as good as Transformers is I can't help it.
Transformers beats the crap out of Spiderman and every other boring blockbuster film that's come out this year.

Jul 6 - 07:27 AM

Boss Fan

Ron Schuckert

Very disappointed with "Transformers," and I'm actually a Bay fan! No, not because he makes great films, but because he makes great action films. They may be dumb, but they look great and always have better action than the competition. Considering what he did for the buddy cop and disaster genre, I was really looking forward to seeing what he could do with $200 mil to have robots beat the shit out of each other. The movie was okay and for the most part entertaining, but God it was so corny and the action sequences were a blur. The robots weren't distinguishable enough from one another and the fights were cut so quick and fast that, between both of these flaws, you often you could not tell what the hell was going on. Now, I know Bay is reaching for a wider and perhaps younger audience, or maybe trying to recapture the tone of the cartoon source material, so I guess that may explain the corny dialogue and cheesy plot elements, but that doesn't make it any less groan-inducing. But the action is what this film should be about, and for all its big set pieces, noise and feverish cuts, it never got me all rah-rah the way it was obviously trying to. In a summer of big sequels and remakes, "Die Hard" is the only one that really delivers. "Transformers" I guess would be second, but that is faint praise considering "Pirates" made me want to pound my fuckin' head into the seat in front of me. So hopefully "Die Hard's" dip will be slim this weekend. Of course it won't out-gross big ass robots, but it certainly deserves to.

Jul 6 - 08:19 AM

haelohm

Sean Collen

[b]hmm[/b]
I think we are forgetting that HARRY POTTER opens next week, so that coupled with the early release and most likely being front loaded will hurt Transformers in its sophomore frame...its a good thing its making so much this week because HP will decimate it next week.

Jul 6 - 10:05 AM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

Yep, pretty much.

TRANSFORMERS was an awesome movie though - a pleasant surprise indeed.

Jul 6 - 12:51 PM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

Yep, pretty much.

TRANSFORMERS was an awesome movie though - a pleasant surprise indeed.

Jul 6 - 12:51 PM

kendrith1975

Ken Tsoi

I think it is indeed a shame that a lot of people already spent their money on the May 3quels. As most have already put here, the real cream of the crop in terms of quality movies are all released afterwards, where there are only so much theatre dollars a regular moviegoer can devote to. I think we cannot assume that regular people have so much budget devote to movie-going, and Hollywood just do not know when enough is enough.

There ought to be some kind of big financial casualty this summer, but so far it seems most have been performing decently even if there are disappointments like SURFED UP and huge misfires like EVAN ALMIGHTY (its current grosses wasn't as bad as it was deemed but who can justify a film's budget ballooned to its current reported cost of 175 million without the presence of Jim Carrey??)
I think some of the Universal executives ought to get fired!

Jul 6 - 01:08 PM

SHARTRON

dustin krone

[b]Kid Ikarus[/b]
MY OPINION MORON

Jul 6 - 01:29 PM

SHARTRON

dustin krone

[b]Gimy[/b]
I'm not complaining about them being good actors. It's about their talents being wasted on a garbage script! I was 12 when the original TF came out, so don't give me crap if I'm a tad bit disappointed with the film. I was very excited when I walked into the theatre, annoyed when I left. How did Starscream let Megatron down again when it was Megatron who was frozen forever in the ice? Starscream was there to save his a**! I know the line is from the original cartoon but it was wasted in that scene. And I LOVED the whole chihuahua/Bumblebee peefest. Pure class!

Jul 6 - 01:38 PM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

I think Starscream letting Megatron down was meant to be a past-reference. Megatron is their leader, so it isn't far fetched to believe they've had other missions in the past and Starscream always screws them up. Makes sense.

The peeing thing was hilarious.

Gotta say, don't see how people could not like this movie.. ESPECIALLY TRANSFORMERS fans. I mean, how could you do a TRANSFORMERS movie any better? The story wasn't great and the acting forgettable, but this is one of those movies where those aren't the selling points of the flick. Put it this way, if you're going into a TRANSFORMERS movie for a good story and award winning acting... (insert smirk here) you're missing the whole point of the flick, kids.

Jul 6 - 09:51 PM

TheIceGhost

Harry Myland

I think Starscream letting Megatron down was meant to be a past-reference. Megatron is their leader, so it isn't far fetched to believe they've had other missions in the past and Starscream always screws them up. Makes sense.

The peeing thing was hilarious.

Gotta say, don't see how people could not like this movie.. ESPECIALLY TRANSFORMERS fans. I mean, how could you do a TRANSFORMERS movie any better? The story wasn't great and the acting forgettable, but this is one of those movies where those aren't the selling points of the flick. Put it this way, if you're going into a TRANSFORMERS movie for a good story and award winning acting... (insert smirk here) you're missing the whole point of the flick, kids.

Jul 6 - 09:51 PM

~*Admiral Snowstorm*~

Dominique Amsterdam

For reasons why Transformers wasn't as good as it could have been, look no further than the original Die Hard (ironically enough). There's a movie that balances character and action and pulls them both off very well. Transformers is bombastic indeed, but the dialogue is banal and the characters are boring. Sure it's entertaining, but history's proved that action movies can be better than this.

Jul 8 - 12:14 PM

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