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Weekend Wrap-Up: Transformers Lights Up the Competition, Box Office Remains Dark

July 11th, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon led the way for the second weekend in a row and overall the top five films were a little stronger than expected, but sadly that wasn't enough for 2011 to score a win. It didn't even come close. The overall box office was just $156 million, which was 23% lower than last weekend, but the post-holiday slump mostly explains that. However, it was 19% lower than the same weekend last year and there's no excuse for that. The bad news continues as 2011 has fallen more than $500 million behind 2010's pace, while attendance is just down close to 10%. Unless Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is an exceptional hit at the box office, the summer of 2011 could have the worst ticket sales in more than a decade.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon added $47.10 million over the weekend, which was on the high end of expectations, but well within the range of most analysts' predictions. It also climbed into top spot on the 2011 box office chart with $261.08 million, overtaking The Hangover 2, and it remains on pace to top original expectations. By this time next week, the film should reach $300 million domestically, while the franchise will have reached $1 billion. This film is one of the few bright spots at the box office this year, and since we are halfway through the summer and halfway through the year, it's starting to get really depressing. Every year there are films that fail to match pre-release buzz, but usually there are roughly the same number of films that are surprise hits. That has not been the case this year. At least the international numbers are holding up better.

Horrible Bosses also finished on the high end of expectations, earning $28.30 million during its opening weekend. This is inline with what Bridesmaids earned and if it can continue the trend of strong legs by R-rated comedies, then it could cross $100 million by the time it is done. Its reviews have slipped a bit, so having the same legs as Bridesmaids had is unlikely, but it won't need to perform that well to be considered a solid hit.

Keven James suffered through his second miss in a row, as Zookeeper only managed third place with $20.07 million. Granted, this was within the range of most predictions, but still his second lowest live action debut, only topping The Dilemma from earlier this year. With an $80 million production budget, reviews that are just 14% positive, and very little international upside, there's little hope this film will show a profit any time soon.

Cars 2 added $15.21 million to its running tally, which now sits at $148.83 million. But this time next week, it will have overtaken Kung Fu Panda 2 for biggest animated hit of the year so far, while it could also be ahead of A Bug's Life on Pixar's all-time chart. In both cases these are only small victories.

Bad Teacher was within a rounding error of Thursday's prediction with $8.91 million over the weekend for a total of 78.67 million after three. It should get to $100 million before its run is over, which is more than enough to be considered a hit.

Larry Crowne just missed the top five with $5.94 million over the weekend and $26.20 million after two. The film fell faster than expected and by the time July ends, it will be all but gone from theaters. The only other film in the sophomore class was Monte Carlo, which actually held up the best out of the three films down just 49%. It also opened the weakest, so it only managed $3.80 million over the weekend for a total of $16.13 million after two. By next weekend it will see its theater count slashed.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Zookeeper, Cars 2, Bad Teacher, Horrible Bosses, Monte Carlo, Larry Crowne