Paramount’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” scored one of the best Thursday grosses in history as it added another $28.6 million to its coffers for a domestic cume of $89.3 million in its second day in release.
Pic took a further $20 million in international markets on Thursday. Pic’s foreign cume was a whopping $80 million from 11,500 locations in 58 territories, putting the worldwide tally at $169.3 million. At that rate, “Transformers 2” is on its way to scoring one of the top five-day openings of all time at the worldwide box office.
Current record-holder for best five-day domestic gross is “Dark Knight” at $203.8 million. That’s followed by “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” with $172.8 million and “Spider-Man 3” with $169.4 million. In terms of films released on a Wednesday, “Spider-Man 2” grossed $152.4 million in its first five days.
Most box office observers believe “Revenge of the Fallen” will easily post a five-day opening of between $160 million and $180 million. Some put the figure even higher.
The film’s opening-day bow of $60.6 million from 4,234 runs at the domestic box office was the best ever for a Wednesday release and the second best of all time after that of “The Dark Knight” ($67.2 million).
Of the 4,234 screens on which “Transformers 2” is playing domestically, 169 locations are Imax. On Thursday, Imax locations turned in a record-breaking $2.3 million, or 8% of the film’s total gross for the day. Imax runs on Wednesday grossed $1 million.
Foreign total through Wednesday includes early grosses from the U.K. and Japan, where the film opened over the weekend. “Revenge of the Fallen” opened day and date virtually everywhere else on Wednesday. Pic hasn’t opened in India or Italy.
“This is the best international opening number I can ever remember. It shows there is a huge fan base for the movie. The audience loves the movie,” Paramount prexy of international distribution Andrew Cripps said.
Directed by Michael Bay, the “Transformers” sequel has drawn poor reviews in the U.S., but that doesn’t seem to be slowing down theater traffic, with out-of-school kids primed for an action tentpole.
Studios largely avoided going up against “Revenge of the Fallen,” but Warner Bros. will look to counterprogram with New Line drama “My Sister’s Keeper,” starring Abigail Breslin and Cameron Diaz. Film opens in 2,606 runs.
But “My Sister’s Keeper” will have to compete for female eyeballs with Disney holdover “The Proposal.” That Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy debuted last weekend to $33.6 million, the best opening ever for Bullock by far. Through Wednesday, “Proposal’s” domestic cume was a dazzling $46.9 million.
Specialty openers include Miramax’s Michelle Pfeiffer topliner “Cheri,” which opens in 76 theaters in the top 20 markets. Stephen Frears directed the romance drama, set in La Belle Epoque Paris. Kathy Bates and Rupert Friend also star.
Roadside Attractions opens “The Stoning of Soraya M.” in 76 runs. Foreign-language drama is set in 1986 Iran.
Summit Entertainment opens Kathryn Bigelow’s Iraqi war drama “The Hurt Locker” in four runs in Los Angeles and New York.
IFC Films bows Italian-French pic “Quiet Chaos” in one theater.
But how much room there will be for other films besides “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” remains to be seen, whether at the domestic box office or overseas.
Internationally, “Revenge of the Fallen’s” opening grosses were well ahead of the first “Transformers” in virtually every territory. In Korea, grosses were up 52%; in Australia, 30%.
Pic’s opening cume in Russia was $5 million. Taiwan turned in $1.7 million, a massive number for that territory.
“There’s not a territory on my list that I’m disappointed with,” Cripps said.