The box office results for the 4th of July weekend sees an appropriate revenue explosion with “Transformers 3” wiping out records. Dark of the Moon – much like its director – is on a mission to go out with the biggest bang in summer movie history. In other news, the rest of the top ten is in a freefall. Here are the studio estimates:

1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($97.4 million)

2. Cars 2 ($25.1 million)

3. Bad Teacher ($14.1 million)

4. Larry Crowne ($13 million)

5. Monte Carlo ($7.6 million)

6. Super 8 ($7.5 million)

7. Green Lantern ($6.2 million)

8. Mr. Popper’s Penguins ($5.1 million)

9. Bridesmaids ($3.5 million)

10. Midnight in Paris ($3.4 million)

Analysis

Let us tackle the little guys first:

Monte Carlo came in with young Disney prodigy and music star Selena Gomez in the lead role after numerous re-writes to the script. The single digit opening take may seem low for a summer release, but the budget was just $20 million. The budget probably could have been less if the majority of this romantic-comedy wasn’t shot in multiple foreign locales such as Paris, Budapest and Monaco. Gomez is just beginning her film career, so she’ll have a few more cracks to see if she can draw on this medium.

Funny to see two bankable stars not make bank at the B.O. when joining forces. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts came together in Larry Crowne – which probably rationalizes why this simple comedy rang up a $30 million production bill (their salaries). Even with the obivious blockbuster stealing away audiences this holiday weekend, this should have done more business with people looking for alternate entertainment at the cinemas. Then again, everything dropped hard this weekend. Still, this may go down as a disappointing performance for Universal (how many times have we said that before).

Bridesmaids currently have the longest streak in the top ten with 8 weeks. Flick is now up to $153 million on the domestic front.

And now to Transformers: Dark of the Moon. As reported earlier this week right here, the budget for this CGI action-fest was $195 million. Paramount & DreamWorks can justify spending that kind of cash when the previous two installments have easily eclipsed the $300 million mark domestically. Plus, the overseas market is saving and/or padding the stats for all big blockbusters these days. Not factoring in the possible business this flick will do on the Monday holiday, Transformers 3 will be over $160 million mark stateside (5-day record for the Independence Day holiday); and will in all likelihood closes in on $400 million worldwide. Disgusting isn’t it?

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has amassed $1 billion worldwide, becoming just the 8th film to achieve that feat.

Flop Alert: Green Lantern. Put it this way, Warner Bros. better have signed a deal where they get some of the profits from promos like Subway (yummy avocado) and gas station collectable cups. They’re going to need all the help they can get to qualify spending $200 million ($150 million after tax incentives) on this when the domestic total is barely over $100 million after 3 weeks.

Sleeper Hit: Bad Teacher may have stumbled 55% from its opening weekend, yet the $19 million production is already at $60 million domestically. Columbia Pictures has a true winner here.

This Friday is a bunch of comedies that will try to please all demographics. For the mature people out there, Horrible Bosses is on tap. Fam-friendly crews can indulge in Zookeeper. Also, a little known flick releasing on the internet this Monday, is a documentary called Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good. Check out our interview with the Director. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.

Report by Joe Belcastro

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By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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