Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

July 5, 2011

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Michael Bay: The Revengening

Kim Hollis: Transformers: Dark of the Moon opened to $97.8 million over the three-day portion of the weekend, giving it a running total of $162.6 million since Tuesday evening. What do you take from this result?

Brett Beach: Answer in a breathless (and familiar) nutshell: They lost some from the lost one, the 3D is apparently awesome so they will make more three-dimensional bank than a lot of other releases have this year, it may throw under the first one domestically, but not by much and international numbers are gangbusters and may push it up to a billion so it doesn't matter if domestic winds up "weak."

I think the time may have come for an inverse addendum to the BOP Ocean's 12 rule of poor quality of an installment eroding goodwill going forth, which is: if you heave enough explosions at an audience and leave them living the film experience from millisecond to millisecond unable to remember what happened in the last shot, they may be grateful for your efforts, or simply so amnesiac, that all bets are off. I didn't find the last one contemptible (I may have liked it a smidge more than the first), but I can't go another round with 'splosions, 'spolsions, 'splosions, which makes me at least a little sad, because McDormand and Malkovich are in it, for pete's sake!


Edwin Davies: As much as part of me wants to emphasize the idea that the badwill generated from the second one is responsible for the lower gross of the third, which I do think is absolutely the case, it's hard to argue that this isn't a success, even if it won't be as big of a success as its predecessors. As with Pirates 4, the things to take away is that sequels are often referendums on the quality of the previous films; that 3D prices and inflation once again prop up a result that would be far worse without it since it hides the fact that far, far fewer people went to see Dark of the Moon than either of the first two Transformers films; and that foreign grosses are becoming increasingly essential for determining the ultimate success of a film.

Reagen Sulewski: I think trying to read too much into the $11 million or so difference between the second film's three-day weekend and this one's is a bit like make financial decisions based on dice rolls. While there's probably some number of people who stayed away from this one based on the second film's epic suck, this is still the largest opening film of the year by a large margin, and will be the third-highest grossing film of the year by next Friday at the latest. For all this series' numerous flaws, explosions sell, plus there seems to be a sense of "well, I saw the last ones, might as well see these", an attitude that I find kind of baffling.

Another thing you have to be careful about when interpreting these extended opening "weekends" is the configuration of the calendar. Transformers 2 opened the week before July 4th, and but a lot more into the midnight screenings portion of its run. Transformers 3 has a Monday that's a July 4th, which is about as ideal as you can get in arranging the calendar. It's not really a "wait and see" situation, because this film is already incredibly successful, but exactly how these next few days play out will go a long ways towards determining whether it makes $350 or $400 million.

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