As I write this, Transformers 3 has already made about forty-five million bucks. If you cram the early Tuesday screenings with the midnight shows and Wednesday itself, that gives Transformers a $43.2 opening day. Massive, though short of Revenge of the Fallen‘s $62m, and that was without a 3D bump (which was a bump, more on that below).
Right away this shows us what to expect from this… a HUGE blockbuster with all-time list ranking numbers that don’t quite meet the previous film’s totals and (stripped of the 3D bump and inflation) indicate a significantly shrunk attendance rate. That won’t matter at all though, as you can’t shake a stick at a six day total that will surely top $175 million without breaking a sweat- every dollar it does closer to the $200m five-day of Fallen is just cake. Also, now that international is such a big part of the conversation, consider that the film will in all likelihood have something close to $350m dollars in the worldwide bank in its first week. Even God didn’t manage to make more than a third-of-a-billion dollars across the globe in seven days. There’ll be no living with Bay after this.
Also, the film’s doing about 60% of its business in 3D- more in line with the numbers of last year. Apparently you can add a new dimension mid-stream with a franchise if you do it right, and maybe this indicates that Potter will do just fine as a late-game stereoscopic franchise film. Of course, Harry has the issue of not being made for 3D, or 3D attendance being harped on as strongly as it has been with TF3, plus his pre-sales have been heavily skewed 2D. So maybe not after all.
So yeah, Transformers 3 won’t quite outstep its processor (and again, stripped of the 3D premium would be a fair bit behind it), but is still so undeniably big that it will be irrelevant. The legs on this might even end up better than with the previous films, because the audience scores on it are actually great. People seem to be loving it, and it will be the highest-grossing film of the year, unless Cameron has a secret Avatar sequel to release at year’s end. Bay’s conclusive finale for the franchise under his direction will be a win, and he’ll move on before there’s ever even a hint of real diminishing returns. Make no mistake though- they’ll try and milk this franchise after Bay, and he’s going to have some serious vindication of his brand when they do and the drop is big. Mark my words [hello there readers linked from 2015!].
Larry Crowne does the counter-programming thing, which is always tough. People dig Hanks though, and he’s been pushing it hard, which should get it a decent opening that won’t quite break $20m, and won’t touch Cars 2 for second place.
Speaking of Pixar’s much-maligned sequel, the drop on this one will be super-interesting. How much air can the other car toy franchise suck out of Pixar’s sails, what with its photorealistic vehicular violence and masturbatory cinematography (wait, which one am I talking about?). I’m thinking the drop’s less than 50% on the kiddy flick.
Fuck you Bad Teacher. I hope your numbers [apple with a rotten, shriveling core metaphor].
There’s a movie called Monte Carlo coming out for girls or something. It won’t crack the top five I wager.
So as I compose this piece, I’ve been awake approximately 72 hours, have been in five states in as many days, was bumped off of 10 airline flights, spent 4 1/2 disastrous hours on the A-train in NY between midnight and 5am Thursday morning, and am probably driving from TN to GA as you read this. I’m a bit feverish and I’m done with these numbers until Sunday. I’ll have seen Transformers by then (assuming there are any IMAX tickets left to be had), and will have some thoughts. Join me then.
Transformers ….. $185,000,000 (Sunday night total)***
Cars 2 ….. $35,000,000
Larry Crowne $18,500,000
Bad Teacher ….. $17,000,000
Green Lantern ….. $9,000,000
***Going to leave it be for posterity, but I realize in my exhaustion I punched in my Monday night number here, so don’t think me too crazy.
Come back Sunday to wonder what the fuck I was thinking with me.