Transformers sequel crushes competition at box office

Shia Labeouf's Transformers: Dark Of The Moon has destroyed the competition at the box office, grossing $97.4 million to score the biggest opening weekend of the year so far.

The third installment of the action franchise, directed by Michael Bay, opened on Tuesday night (28Jun11) and had pulled in $162 million by Sunday (03Jul11), according to early studio estimates.

Its weekend (01-03Jul11) gross of $97.4 million beats the $90.2 million taken by Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides when it was released in May (11).

The Transformers sequel also makes history as the largest Independence Day (04Jul11) weekend draw since Spider-Man 2's $88.2 million haul in 2004.

Meanwhile, animated film Cars 2 was a distant second on the box office chart with $25.1 million, while Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts' Larry Crowne enters at four, followed by another new release, Monte Carlo.