Friday, June 26, 2009

"Transformers" $60.6 million debut topples record

Action movie "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" pummeled U.S. box offices on its Wednesday debut, raking in $60.6 million in the second biggest single-day gross ever, box office watchers said on Thursday.

The effects rich, alien versus robot war movie, came close to eclipsing last year's single-day debut of Batman movie "The Dark Knight," which posthumously starred actor Heath Ledger and took in $67.2 million in domestic markets on its Friday debut.

Opening day ticket sales for "Transformers," released by Viacom Inc's Paramount Pictures and produced with privately held DreamWorks, includes $16 million from midnight screenings and gives the movie the biggest single-day box office on a Wednesday, according to Box office.

The previous Wednesday record was held by "Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix," which had $44.2 million on its Wednesday debut in July 2007, including $12 million from midnight screenings.

The new film is a sequel to 2007's "Transformers" that took in a total of more than $700 million worldwide, and Hollywood has been hoping that the sequel would help the industry rebound from recent weeks of relatively lackluster ticket sales.

"Transformers" is based on the popular toys and cartoons about shape-shifting cars which morph into "autobots" that fight alien "decepticons" who want to control Earth.

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