Bigger than Spiderman

If you had told me 20 years ago, after the abysmal box office showing that was the original Transformers animated feature, that a Transformers film would outdo Spider-Man’s opening week gross, I would have said, “What, that weird kid that appeared in the comic book? So?”

Sorry, run that forward a little bit.

If you had told me five years ago, after Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film made $400 million at the domestic box office, breaking records along the way, that a Transformers film would (so far) outdo that hot property the same year as the third installment, I would have laughed. If the best that the Aquaman property could hope for was to beat Spider-Man in a fictional scenario in the HBO series Entourage, surely in the real world a toy company’s property had even less of a chance.

Well, now Michael Bay is laughing. All the way to his gold-plated Camaro. (Goldbug?)

The Transformers opening 6-day gross of over $155 milion has beaten out Spider-Man’s $151 million, and so far it shows little sign of slowing down. Along the way, it garnered the highest opening Tuesday ever (by $12 million dollars — up 80% from now-second place), the third highest Wednesday ever (now fourth, thanks to Harry Potter’s new record-setting Wednesday premiere), and the title as the biggest opening week for a non-sequel in all of film history — the title which Spider-Man held until last Sunday.

New Avengers / Transformers #1Spider-Man is clearly not very happy about this development. Not content to leave the battle at the box office, our intrepid arachnid friend was last seen hurling himself into battle against the alien robot menace at the end of the first issue of the New Avengers / Transformers 4-part mini-series. Not since Transformers #3 — at the time a Marvel publication — have we seen these two clash. Guys, can’t we all just get along?

Clearly lots of people are seeing the Transformer movie, but so far not everyone likes it. However, the amount of media coverage the film’s relatively surprise breakout has garnered should ensure fence-sitters enough incentive to at least check it out.

Me? I’ve seen it three times during opening week, and it just keeps getting better every time I do. At the most recent showing, I brought along over a dozen people with me, the majority of which loved it, and only some had watched previously.

Just doing my part.

The release of Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter’s latest romp, might very well put a dent in ticket sales. Either way, I think we’re looking at this year’s next $300 million earner.