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‘Transformers’ Is Top Film Again With $47.1 Million in Sales

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” was the top-grossing film at U.S. and Canadian theaters for a second weekend, taking in $47.1 million for Viacom Inc. (VIA/B)’s Paramount Pictures.

“Horrible Bosses,” the R-rated comedy from Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros., was second in its debut with $28.3 million in receipts, researcher Hollywood.com Box-Office said today in an e-mailed statement.

“Dark of the Moon” is the third movie in a series that has generated about $2.2 billion in worldwide ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo. Paramount Chief Executive Officer Brad Grey has sought to boost profit by focusing on franchises, including “Transformers” and “Star Trek.” The studio ranked first in 2011 ticket sales with $1.14 billion as of July 10.

“Dark of the Moon” is “the kind of film that’s made to make most of its business in the first two weeks,” said Gitesh Pandya, editor of Boxofficeguru. “‘Harry Potter’ will take away both audiences and 3-D screens” when it opens this week.

The film is based on the Hasbro Inc. (HAS) toys, and has taken in $261.1 million in the U.S. and Canada since it was released on June 29. The movie cost $195 million to make, according to Box Office Mojo.

The plot involves the evil Decepticon robots renewing their war against the benevolent Autobots and their human allies. Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky, a young man befriended by the Autobots. English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaced Megan Fox, co-star in the first two films, as Sam’s love interest.

‘Horrible Bosses’

In “Horrible Bosses,” three men plot revenge on their abusive employers. The comedy stars Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell, Jason Bateman and Kevin Spacey. The movie was expected to take in $25 million, the forecast of Box Office Media LLC’s Boxoffice.com.

The film is the second raunchy comedy to perform well for Warner Bros., following “The Hangover Part II,” which was made for about $80 million. It has collected $561.2 million worldwide since its May 26 debut, according to Box Office Mojo.

“The summer of super heroes has turned into the summer of R-rated comedies, between ‘Horrible Bosses,’ ‘The Hangover II’ and ‘Bridesmaids,’” said Jeff Bock, a senior analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles.

“When you see a big film hit, no matter what the genre is, studios jump on that trend right away,” he said. “When studios saw how ‘Hangover I’ did a few years ago,” they all started developing comedy projects.

‘Zookeeper’

Another new film, the Sony Corp. (6758) comedy “Zookeeper,” took in $20.1 million in its first weekend, finishing third. The movie stars Kevin James as a lonely zookeeper who gets dating advice from talking animals. The film was expected to generate $23 million in its opening weekend, according to Boxoffice.com.

“Cars 2,” from Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s Pixar, fell to fourth from second with sales of $15.2 million. In the film, racer Lightning McQueen and tow truck Mater travel overseas so that McQueen can compete in the World Grand Prix auto race. Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy (Daniel Lawrence Whitney) provide the voices of McQueen and Mater.

The film, a sequel to the 2006 hit, produced $148.8 million in the U.S. and Canada since its June 24 release.

“Bad Teacher,” featuring Cameron Diaz as a foul-mouthed educator, dropped to fifth from third with $8.9 million in sales for Sony. Justin Timberlake, Jason Segel and Lucy Punch co-star.

Revenue for the top 12 films fell 21 percent to $145.7 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic box- office sales this year have declined 8.6 percent, while attendance is down 10 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for July 8-10.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
 1 TRANSFORMERS      $47.1    4,107   $11,469  -52   $261.1    2
 2 HORRIBLE BOSSES    28.3    3,040     9,310   --     28.3    1
 3 ZOOKEEPER          20.1    3,482     5,763   --     20.1    1
 4 CARS 2 (3-D)       15.2    3,990     3,813  -42    148.8    3
 5 BAD TEACHER         8.9    2,962     3,010  -39     78.7    3
 6 LARRY CROWNE        5.9    2,976     1,995  -55     26.2    2
 7 SUPER 8             4.8    2,292     2,111  -39    118.1    5
 8 MONTE CARLO         3.8    2,473     1,537  -49     16.1    2
 9 MR. POPPER’S        3.2    1,996     1,580  -43     58.1    4
10 GREEN LANTERN (3-D) 3.1    2,015     1,562  -52    109.7    4
11 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS   2.6      819     3,217  -26     38.6    8
12 BRIDESMAIDS         2.6    1,102     2,385  -28    158.1    9

Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $145.7        $184.1        -21

Year-to-date Revenue

     2011          2010
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $5,503        $6,022       -8.6

Year-to-date Attendance:     -10.0%

To contact the reporters on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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