Friday Report: 'Transformers' in Charge Again
As expected, the weekend's two new comedies couldn't slow down Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which easily retained the top spot on Friday. Despite settling for second, Horrible Bosses got off to a competent start, but the same couldn't be said for Zookeeper, which floundered in its debut.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon fell 55 percent to an estimated $14.9 million. That was a slightly steeper decline than either of the previous Transformers movies had at the same point. Director Michael Bay's three-quel has earned $228.9 million, ranking as the ninth highest-grossing ten-day start ever, and the movie has a solid chance of passing The Hangover Part II on Sunday to become the top-grossing movie of 2011.

Horrible Bosses clocked in with a strong $9.9 million, which was right in the middle of Bad Teacher ($12.2 million) and Bridesmaids ($7.8 million) among Summer 2011's original R-rated comedies. It should finish the weekend with at least $26 million, and could go as high as $30 million.

Zookeeper ended up in third place on Friday with an estimated $7.4 million start. That's notably down from star Kevin James's Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which scored $9.8 million on its opening day. In fact, this was the worst debut for a Kevin James movie aside from January's The Dilemma. Still, Zookeeper was a bit better than last month's Mr. Popper's Penguins, which has so far made just under $56 million. Based on past similar movies, Zookeeper should end up with just over $20 million for the weekend.

After crashing last weekend, Cars 2 stabilized a bit on Friday. The Pixar sequel dropped 39 percent to $4.8 million for a 15-day total of $138.5 million. For the first time, though, the sequel's gross lagged behind predecessor Cars, which had earned $139.8 million through the same point.

Despite the somewhat similar R-rated humor, Bad Teacher appeared unaffected by Horrible Bosses. The movie eased 34 percent to $3 million for a total of $72.7 million and should finish its third weekend just shy of the $80 million mark.

Last weekend's other openers, Larry Crowne and Monte Carlo, each tumbled 52 percent. Larry Crowne earned $1.96 million for a weak eight-day total of $22.2 million, while Monte Carlo added $1.5 million for an eight-day total of $13.8 million.

Related Story:

Weekend Forecast: Comedy Counter-Programming Can't Cancel Out 'Transformers'

Related Charts:

Grosses for Friday, July 8, 2011

• All-Time: 10-day Openings