Lastweekend Cars 2 made a solid debut, but it’s going to crumple in the face of newcomer Transformers: Dark Of The Moon. Also new to screens this week are the Tom Hanks-directed Larry Crowne, and the tween flick Monte Carlo. That covers all four quadrants in this packed 4th of July weekend. Check our predictions…

Following up 2009′s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon looks to be a monster hit.  The first Transformers blew past expectations when it grossed over $700M worldwide, while the second Transformers made over $400 Million domestically, but left a bad taste with enough movie goers that both its star and director have said it wasn’t that good. Some ill will will hinder Transformers 3 from breaking box office records…  but it’s still going to be huge. With better reviews, higher 3D prices, and already impressive opening day numbers,  Transformers 3 is going to be the #1 film over the July4th weekend.

Cars 2 overcame poor reviews and opened to a near-$70 million weekend. Critics may loathe the film,  but audiences gave the Pixar sequel strong cinema score grades and the film has been performing well throughout the week. Cars 2 will be the go-to family film option this holiday weekend and should hold strong in the #2 spot.

Bad Teacher opened way above  expectations last weekend and became Cameron Diaz’s biggest opening weekend as the lead (Charlie Angels/Shrek films did more business, but did not rest solely on Diaz’s sholders). With students out of school, and solid weekday numbers, look for Bad Teacher to land in the #3 spot this holiday weekend.

Tom Hanks directed the adult-oriented romantic comedy  Larry Crowne and stars in it along with Julia Roberts . Ten years ago this package would be box office gold. Nowadays neither star’s box office clout is as high as it used to be. Aside from The Da Vinci code films, Hanks hasn’t headlined a box office smash since Catch Me If You Can (in which he was a co-star to Leonardo DiCaprion), and Roberts’s recent hits have been in ensemble pieces such as Valentines Day and the Ocean’s 11 series. Larry Crowne should be able to carve a niche for itself as counter-programming for adult audiences. But look for Larry Crowne to open in the #4 spot this holiday weekend.

Rounding out the top 5 will be The Green Lantern, which should have enough box office muster to fend off newcomer Monte Carlo and the still-holding strong Super 8 to grab the #5 spot this weekend.

Our Predictions for the Top Ten  for the Four Day Weekend:

  1. Transformers 3: DOTM: $130-140M
  2. Cars 2: $45M
  3. Bad Teacher: $18M-19M
  4. Larry Crowne: $12M
  5. The Green Lantern: $9.5-10M
  6. Mr.Poppers Penguins: $9M
  7. Super 8: $8.5M
  8. Monte Carlo: $7.5m
  9. Bridesmaids: $5.5m
  10. Midnight In Paris: $5M