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'Transformers' scores a record breaking $60.6 million opening day

June 25, 2009 | 10:07 am

Transformers2Update (8:30 PM): Paramount reports that "Transformers" has earned an impressive $58.5 million from foreign countries. Close to $40 million of that came on Wednesday, when it opened in nearly every major international market. It made $19.6 million this past weekend in the U.K. and Japan. 

The film's total gross through Wednesday is $119.1 million.

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Workday be damned, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" blew away the existing record for a non-Friday opening Wednesday by selling an estimated $60.6 million worth of tickets in the U.S. and Canada.

Paramount's Michael Bay-directed f/x extravaganza easily exceeded the Wednesday record of $44.2 million set by "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in 2007 as well as the biggest ever non-Friday gross of $51.3 million, which "Spider-Man 3" hit on a Saturday in 2007.

The only mark it couldn't topple is the absolute biggest single-day gross; "The Dark Knight" earned $67.2 million on its first Friday last year. Accounting for ticket price inflation, "Transformers' " number is a virtual tie with the No. 2 film on that list, "Spider-Man 3," which took in $59.8 million when it opened on a Friday in 2007.

Such an impressive launch sets up "Revenge of the Fallen" for a potentially huge first weekend. It is now virtually certain to break the five-day record for a film opening on a Wednesday: $152.4 million for "Spider-Man 2" in 2004. If its initial momentum continues, it could even exceed "The Dark Knight's" $203.8 million, the all-time biggest five-day gross.

However, if reactions from moviegoers turn out to be as negative as those of most critics, public enthusiasm could quickly wane and "Transformers" would end up with a far less impressive run at the box office than its first day indicates.

The ultimate performance of "Revenge of the Fallen," which cost just under $200 million to produce, will depend more on its grosses from international markets. The first "Transformers" movie earned 55% of its total box office revenue overseas.

Paramount opened the picture in almost every major foreign country Wednesday after a strong debut in Britain and Japan over the weekend. International grosses were not immediately available Thursday morning.

— Ben Fritz

Photo: "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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