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TRANSFORMERS 3 Tops, HORRIBLE BOSSES Strong, Kevin James’ ZOOKEEPER Soft: Box Office

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey, Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon topped the North American box office on Friday, grossing $14.92 million, down 56 percent from a week ago, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Josh Duhamel, Transformers 3 passed the $200m milestone in North America on Wednesday. Though still trailing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon will likely pass the $250m milestone by Sunday evening.

The latest R-rated comedy to hit North American screens, Horrible Bosses collected $9.92 million on opening day. Pundits had been predicting a first weekend hovering between $27m-$30m; that may still happen, depending on how well Horrible Bosses fares on Saturday. For comparison’s sake: the Cameron Diaz-Justin Timberlake R-rated comedy Bad Teacher opened with $12.24 million and, generally mediocre reviews notwithstanding, went on to gross $31.6 million on its debut weekend.

Directed by Seth Gordon, Horrible Bosses stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Colin Farrell, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudeikis, and Jamie Foxx. Reviews have been mixed, with a 62 percent positive rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics. Horrible Bosses’ per-theater average was a solid $3,263 at 3,040 sites.

The Kevin James vehicle Zookeeper opened in third place with $7.4 million at 3,482 locations. Its per-theater average was a so-so $2,125. Kiddie flicks usually do quite well on the weekend proper, which means Zookeeper could end up grossing more than $20m by Sunday evening.

For comparison’s sake: Jim Carrey’s Mr. Popper’s Penguins, another kiddie movie featuring cute animals and unappealing humans, opened with $6.36 million and a $1,908 average. On its first weekend out Mr. Popper’s Penguins drew $18.44 million — nearly tripling its Friday take — despite a surprisingly tiny 2 percent rise on Saturday.

Rounding out the top five on Friday were John Lasseter’s Cars 2 with $4.82 million and Bad Teacher with $3m.

Photo: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Mark Fellman / Paramount Pictures)

Continue Reading: TRANSFORMERS 3: Biggest Domestic Box-Office Hit of 2011

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