The Sc-Fi Movie 'Transformer' - A Money Making Machine?

The shape-shifting robots of ''Transformers'' have taken on a new form: huge piles of cash.

The sci-fi saga ''Transformers,'' DreamWorks and Paramount's big-screen take on the Hasbro toys, debuted with $67.6 million in ticket sales in its first weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That gave it $152.5 million since opening with preview screenings last Monday.

If the weekend figures hold when final numbers are released today, that would give ''Transformers'' the biggest first week revenues ever for a non-sequel, surpassing the $151.6 million of 2002's ''Spider-Man.''

''Transformers,'' directed by Michael Bay, features a cast led by Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, who are among humans hurled into the action when two races of warring robots bring their feud to Earth.

Overall domestic box office plunged. The top 12 movies took in $161.5 million, down 23 percent from the same weekend last year, when ''Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'' opened a then-record weekend of $135.6 million.

The weekend's other new wide release, the Warner Bros. comedy ''License to Wed,'' took fourth place with $10.4 million, raising its total since debuting Tuesday to $17.8 million.

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