Parmount's third "Transformers" movie once again met pre-release expectations Saturday, grossing $34.6 million for the day and staying on pace to meet pre-release forecasts of about $180 million for its mega- six-and-a-half-day premiere week, according to studio estimates.
Paramount also announced a total international performance of $210 million in 58 markets, estimated through Sunday.
Three-D uptake abroad has accounted for about 70 percent of revenue (it's about 60 percent in North America).
The film was the first to break the $20 million opening mark worldwide for IMAX, grossing $22.5 million.
Essentially, the Michael Bay-directed sequel has covered its $300 million-plus production and global marketing nut in its first week of release.
Compared to 2009's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," latest installment "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is domestically smaller. The second installment grossed $109 million over its first standard three-day frame, while No. 3's estimate through Sunday is about $97.4 million.
But when the numbers get this big, who counts (TheWrap will have its full box-office assessment Monday).
Among other wide openings, Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts rom-com "Larry Crowne" grossed $4.8 million Saturday and is on pace for a four-day holiday-weekend total gross of around $15.6 million at 2,973 locations.
The film is being distributed under service deal in the U.S. by Universal. Vendome Pictures fully financed the movie at a reasonable cost of $30 million, and probably won't get hurt thanks to the magic of foreign pre-sales.
Other news outlets have called this one a flop, but we're not going to burn our scarlett letter "f" on it.
Also opening at 2,473 locations, Fox's latest Selena Gomez vehicle, "Monte Carlo," is right around pre-release expectations of about $10 million through Monday. According to Fox estimates, the $20 million movie will have $7.6 million through Sunday.
Again, don't forget to foresake the family — and the country on its birthday — by logging onto TheWrap Monday morning for a full box-office throat-clearing.
Paramount's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" had a solid third full day at the domestic box office, grossing $32.9 million Friday, according to studio estimate.
The Friday performance gives the Michael Bay-directed sequel $97.6 million since it premiered with sneak peeks at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
After falling off the pace Thursday, the $200 million action film is back on track to meet pre-release projections that had the movie taking in about $180 million domestically in its first 6 1/2 days of release.
The third "Transformers" film is still way off the torrid pace set in 2009 by part-two installment "Revenge of the Fallen," which had $127.9 million after its first three days in theaters.
"Dark of the Moon" has made about 60 percent of its revenue from 3D engagements, a solid uptick for the format.
Debuting Friday, meanwhile, Universal's romantic-comedy pairing of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and a Vespa scooter generated $4 million at the domestic box office. That put the film on pace to meet the low side of its pre-release forecast over its first four days, around $15 million.
One rival showbiz blogger called it a flop — and true it doesn't bode well for the ebbing star power of Hanks and Roberts.
But this is only a $30 million film, which Universal is distributing in the U.S. under service deal, so lets not get carried away. "Larry Crowne" debuted at 2,973 locations.
One milestone expected Saturday: Disney is said Friday it will announce that its fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie has surpassed $1 billion at the global box office.
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" slowed down a bit Thursday, grossing $21.5 million and falling off the pace to meet its huge $180 million 6 1/2-day projection at the domestic box office.
The Michael Bay-directed sequel has grossed $64.7 million since debuting at Tuesday-evening sneak peeks. About 60 percent of that total has come from 3D ticket sales.
For comparison, the franchise's second film, 2009's "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," grossed $29.1 million on its second day and had $91.1 million after two full days in theaters.
Regardless of whether "Transformers 3" hits its target, Paramount — which is releasing the film day and date in the rest of the world — should end the weekend having largely made back its $300 million-plus production and global promotional budget.
The 24-hour haul — which included $8 million in midnight revenue — gives Paramount's $200 million-plus follow-up the best single-day opening performance of the year.
Including Tuesday sneak peeks, the film has grossed $42.8 million domestically in its first 36 hours in theaters and could hit $200 million in the U.S. and Canada by the end of Monday.
But "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is not doing as well as last franchise installment, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."
The 2009 sequel — which wasn't sneak-peeked — grossed $62 million in its first 24 hours in theaters.
The original 2007 "Transformers" also debuted with sneak peeks and grossed $36.7 million over its first 36 hours.
At a 36 percent 'fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, "Dark of the Moon's" soft reviews have been better than the terrible ones given to "Revenge of the Fallen" (20 percent).
More important to the film, moviegoers like it. They've collectively given it an A grade, according to the survey firm Cinemascore.
With Bay's 3D achievements also receiving solid word-of-mouth, the film has grossed 60 percent of its initial revenue through the format — a solid performance, given that the 3D revenue percentage has hovered in the 40 percent range for most in-format films released earlier this summer.
However, keep in mind that with Tuesday sneak peeks virtually all in 3D, the percentage is likely skewed at this point.
As expected, "Dark of the Moon" has performed particularly well among males, which comprise 62 percent of the movie's audience so far.
Happily, the movie has defied recent audience trends and drawn younger — 55 percent of the ticket-buyers are under the age of 25, according to Paramount.