Transformers Crushes The Competition

$152 million in its first week

Paramount will be breathing a huge sigh of relief this Monday morning after Transformers took an astonishing $152million in its opening week (it opened last Monday evening at the start of the the 4th July holiday week). The company had been quiet on the possibility of huge numbers since this was a new (probable) franchise, rather than a guaranteed opener sequel. The $150million budgeted movie took $67.6million over the weekend, giving it the second highest 4th July weekend ever (behind Spider-Man 2) and the biggest ever for a non-sequel. It also broke records to become the biggest opening in the history of the universe for a movie with a character with the surname Witwicky and largest gross at the stroke of 3am on a Thursday for a movie who's cast average over 25ft tall. So the records were really falling all over the place.

The rest of the chart fell far short of the number one movie, but Pixar's Ratatouille dug its little ratty teeth into the number two spot, taking a healthy $29million in its second week. That puts it at $105million in ten days, which is better than Cars managed in the same time. Very positive word of mouth could keep this one near the top of the charts for weeks to come.

Die Hard 4.0, or Live Free Or Die Hard as it's annoyingly known in the States, had a disappointing second week. It lost a lot of business to Transformers and racked up only $17.4million, to give it $84million in twelve days and put it on course to, in terms of bums on seats, be the least successful of the Die Hard movies. It'll have an even tougher time in the next couple of weeks with Harry Potter and The Simpsons Movie lurking round the corner. Healthy business on DVD should put it well into profit by the end of the year though.

The only other new entry, Robin Williams comedy License To Wed, whimpered in at number four with a meagre $10million. Michael Moore's healthcare documentary Sicko did solid business as it expanded its theatre count, taking an additional $3.6million. They're good numbers for a documentary, even if they're not on the level of the more incendiary Fahrenheit 9/11.