'Transformers' rakes in $16 million

Michael Bay sequel screened in 3,000 locations

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" stormed about 3,000 locations Tuesday night, and the first midnight screenings of Michael Bay's action sequel captured a mighty $16 million.

It puts the Paramount release in impressive company: While "The Dark Knight" holds the record for midnight grossers, having picked up $18.5 million in 2008, the "Transformers" number approaches that of Fox's "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith," which grossed $16.9 million in 2005. "Transformers" can boast the biggest midnight gross for a movie opening on a Wednesday.

Imax, which is showing the movie on its large-format screens, reported that all 160 locations sold out their midnight shows, and some of them quickly added 3 a.m. unspoolings. The Imax haul amounted to just over $1 million, surpassing Imax midnight record setter "The Dark Knight," which took in $675,000 on Imax screens last summer.

The debut of the "Transformers" movie also overshadowed May's bow of Paramount's own "Star Trek," a Friday opener that collected $4 million at Thursday evening screenings and then took in another $3 million at midnight screenings.
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