(Photo: Paramount Pictures)
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" topped the box office Friday, taking in $32.9 million from 4,011 locations. But will there be fireworks for the third installment of the Transformers franchise during the July 4th weekend?
Going into Saturday, Transformers 3 has raked in $97.6 million in domestic markets after it's box office debut Wednesday brought in $37.3 million. Still, "Dark of the Moon," directed by Michael Bay, has fallen short of its predecessor "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," which earned $127.85 million in as many days.
Over the three-day Fourth of July weekend, distributor Paramount estimates that "Dark of the Moon" will take in $10 million above "Spider-Man 2," which took in $88.2 million from Friday to Sunday in 2004.
The latest Transformers film is also poised to beat the five-day, Wednesday to Sunday, record of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" which grossed $157.6 million last year.
Transformers 3 could bring in $160-$175 million in domestic markets and a total of $350 million worldwide by the end of Monday, according to box-office forecasters.
"Everything we're seeing on Facebook and Twitter indicates that word-of-mouth is extremely positive," said Phil Contrino, editor of Boxoffice.com, according to MTV.com. "It's still a bit early to rush to judgment on how well this is going to hold up over the holiday frame. It could explode in a big way over the weekend."
Cars 2, the sequel to Pixar's hit animated movie, is expected to gross $35 million and place second at the end of the July 4th weekend box office.
"Transformers: Dark of the Moon" is rated PG-13 and runs 2 hours and 34 min.