"Transformers" pushes box office up to $97.6 million

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap) - Paramount Pictures' "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" enjoyed a solid third day at U.S. and Canadian box offices, grossing $32.9 million Friday, according to the studio's estimate.
Friday's performance gives the Michael Bay-directed sequel $97.6 million since it premiered with sneak peeks at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
After falling off its pace Thursday, the $200 million action film is back on track to meet pre-release projections that had the movie taking in about $180 million domestically in its first 6-1/2 days of release.
The third "Transformers" film is still way off the torrid pace set in 2009 by part-two installment "Revenge of the Fallen," which had $127.9 million after its first three days in theaters.
"Dark of the Moon" has made about 60 percent of its revenue from 3D engagements, a solid uptick for the format which has shown weakness at box offices in recent months.
Debuting Friday, meanwhile, Universal's romantic-comedy pairing of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and a Vespa scooter generated $4 million at the domestic box office. That put the film on pace to meet the low side of its pre-release forecast over its first four days, around $15 million.
One rival showbiz blogger called it a flop -- and true, it doesn't bode well for the ebbing star power of Hanks and Roberts.
But this is only a $30 million film, which Universal is distributing in the U.S. under service deal, so lets not get carried away. "Larry Crowne" debuted at 2,973 locations.
One expected milestone over the weekend: Disney said Friday it will announce that its fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie has surpassed $1 billion at the global box office.

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