Forget all of those Decepticons transformed into movie critics! They were destined to be defeated -- and they were, in spades, as moviegoers cold-shouldered them to make Paramount's Transformers Dark of the Moon the third-biggest three-day opener of all time. The Michael Bay-directed movie, excoriated by an overwhelming number of critics for what they said was an idiotic and incomprehensible plot, collected an estimated $97.4 million between Friday and Sunday. Only Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Spider-Man 3 have had bigger three-day openings. Moreover, Dark of the Moon is expected to earn an additional $18.7 million on Monday, which would bring its domestic total since Wednesday's late-night screenings to $180.9 million. (However, that would put it behind Transformers Revenge of the Fallen , which raked in $215 million over its opening six days two years ago.) As for all those predictions that for the most part audiences would seek out cheaper 2D venues to see it -- forget that, too! Some 60 percent of its earnings came from 3D ticket sales (versus just 40 percent for last weekend's Cars 2 ). And, for the first time, IMAX venues collected more than $20 million for a movie ($23 million according to estimates). Two other "alternative" movies opened at the high end of forecasts. Larry Crowne , starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, which targeted mostly female moviegoers, earned about $13 million over the three-day period, and Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez, which targeted mostly teenage girls, debuted with $7.6 million.
The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 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 , $6.3 million; 8. Mr. Popper's Penguins , $5.1 million; 9. Bridesmaids , $3.5 million; 10. Midnight in Paris , $3.4 million.