Any question that the box office was hurting was dispelled over the Fourth of July weekend as one of the most consistent filmmakers behind summer blockbusters, Michael Bay, once again showed his box office dominance with the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Paramount), starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Patrick Dempsey and Alan Tudyk, as it set a number of new records.
Opening on Tuesday at 9pm in IMAX and 3D theaters, the movie brought in $5.5 million before midnight screenings, then added another $37.7 million on Wednesday, which was down nearly 39% from the opening of its predecessor Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen two years prior but also the biggest single day gross of 2011 so far. Helped by the four-day holiday weekend, the movie picked up on Friday with roughly $33 million leading to an estimated $97.4 million over the three-day weekend, besting the previous 4th of July record held by Sony's Spider-Man 2 with roughly $88 million. That three-day opening may be down 11% from the previous movie's opening weekend of $109 million, but with a better CinemaScore and reactions from audiences, it certainly picked up business from its opening on Wednesday. Including estimates for the 4th of July Monday, "Dark of the Moon" grossed $116.4 million over the extended four-day weekend bringing its total to $181.1 million for its first six (or so) days. It shouldn't have any problem becoming the first movie of 2011 to cross the $300 million mark.
Internationally, Bay's latest brought in $235 million since opening earlier in the week, bringing its six-day worldwide total to $416 million. (Read that last bit again: Michael Bay's new movie has grossed more than $400 million in less than a week!)
You can read more on the box office estimates by clicking here.