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    Is the Transformers Movie Bombing? (And Could a Lack of Megan Fox Be to Blame?)

    TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON Paramount Pictures

    The new Transformers sequel opened Wednesday and, as expected, its box-office take was big and fat…

    …And kinda puny compared to the last Transformers sequel!?

    Um, what?

    RELATED: Is Megan Fox still the most interesting thing about the Transformers franchise?

    In its first full day in theaters, Transformers: Dark of the Moon grossed an estimated $37.3 million, good for sixth place on the list of all-time Wednesday openers.

    But as you'll notice on that rundown, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is in second place, with a far bigger, far fatter $62 million debut.

    That's a difference of 40 percent, as in Dark of the Moon, despite director Michael Bay's plea for audiences to see the 3-D movie in the most expensive 3-D theaters possible, did 40 percent less opening-day business than Revenge of the Fallen.

    Perhaps the only thing more surprising is that at least one box-office analyst wasn't all that surprised.

    "Usually by the third [movie in a franchise] you have the fatigue factor," Exhibitor Relations' Jeff Bock said today. "The second sequel is usually the peak of the franchise."

    And so, for Bock, Dark of the Moon is about what he expected it to be: huge, but not as huge as its predecessor. He still thinks the new movie will near $185 million domestically by Monday's Fourth of July holiday. (Since opening in previews on Tuesday, Dark of the Moon is already at $42.5 million. And, so you know, Bay's 3-D entreaty was not exactly ignored: About 60 percent of his film's opening-day gross came from 3-D ticket sales, way up from the now-usual 40 percent.)

    One thing Bock doesn't think is that Megan Fox, or rather the lack of Megan Fox, has anything to do with Dark of the Moon not keeping pace with Revenge of the Fallen.

    "Absolutey nothing," Bock said. "She was window dressing all along."

    Perhaps. But the windows drew so many more gawkers.

    WATCH: Meet the woman chosen to fill Megan Fox's, um, shoes

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