Latest Transformers Film Sets Off Fireworks at the Box Office

As we enter Fourth of July weekend, it should be no surprise to hear that a big blockbuster action flick is set to tear up the box office. Released a couple days ahead of the weekend, Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon had already raked in $64.7 million by the end of Thursday, and is projected to gross $165 million by the end of the holiday weekend. That projected figure would easily give the film the biggest opening of the year, with The Hangover Part II trailing at a distance second with a domestic gross of $85 million when it opened Memorial Day weekend. Worldwide, the third Transformers installment could bring in $325 to $350 million by the end of Monday.

While those figures aren’t anything to scoff at, the second film in the franchise, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, brought in $200 million domestically in its extended 6-day opening weekend. However, the third film is likely to outdo the first film’s $155.4 million domestic opening weekend. The first two films alone grossed roughly $1.5 billion worldwide for producer Paramount (NYSE:VIA). The third film is the first to be offered in 3D, which is already accounting for 60% of its domestic sales, and has also made $5 million so far from its 146 IMAX locations.

While Transformers is set to win the box office this weekend, other films opening in wide release include Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks romp Larry Crowne and tween flick Monte Carlo. Larry Crowne was co-written by Tom Hanks and Nia Vardalos, best known for writing and starring in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, with Tom Hanks putting on a third hat to direct. Tom Hanks plays a middle-aged man who loses his job and goes back to school where, lo and behold, Julia Roberts plays his professor. Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, and Katie Cassidy, with an appearance by Glee‘s Cory Monteith, follows three friends as their trip to Paris turns to disaster, then to hilarity, then to romance — typical tween romcom fare.

This weekend also hosts a few limited-release films being buzzed about, particularly Sundance 2011 Film Festival hit Terri, produced by the team behind Half Nelson and Blue Valentine. Rotten Tomatoes describes the film as, “a moving and often funny film about the relationship between Terri, an oversized teen misfit, and the garrulous but well-meaning vice principal (John C. Reilly) who takes an interest in him.”

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