It is a good weekend to be transformers, cars or a bad teacher, as Americans flocked to the theaters and made "Transformers: Dark of the Moon'' the biggest Fourth of July movie blockbuster ever, an analyst said Sunday.
The Transformers sequel crushed records with a $97.4 million showing for Friday through Sunday, according to Hollywood.com's survey of industry projections. "Great word-of-mouth propelled a 5 percent Saturday uptick,'' said analyst Paul Degerabedian.
The Paramount picture smashed past the previous record holder, "Spider- Man 2,'' which had set an $88.2 million benchmark for Independence Day weekend openings, according to studio estimates.
Also of note this weekend was "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,'' which was in 11th place domestically. Worldwide, it crossed the $1 billion in ticket sales line, only the eighth movie in Hollywood history to do so.
Back in North America, "Cars 2'' crossed the $100 million-dollar threshold with an estimated $25.1 million on its second weekend.
"Bad Teacher'' did respectably, with the raunchy comedy projected to gross $14.1 million in its second week of exhibition, good enough for third place.
Tom Hanks' "Larry Crowne'' was in fourth place with an estimated $13 million three day total. and "Monte Carlo'' opened in fifth with a $7.6 million gate.
Rounding out the 10 most-popular films in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, as estimated by the studios and reported by Hollywood.com, are "Super- 8'' ($7.5 million), "Green Lantern'' ($6.3 million), "Mr. Popper's Penguins'' ($5.1 million), "Bridesmaids'' ($3.5 million), and "Midnight In Paris'' ($3.4 million).