By Phil Contrino
With Eagle Eye, Shia LaBeouf has made another assured step into becoming a serious box office draw as a leading man.
With an estimated gross of $29.2 million this weekend, Eye improved upon the $22.2 that 2007's Disturbia brought in.
LaBeouf's last two films, Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, each had mammoth opening weekends. Transformers brought in $70.5 million and Crystal Skull opened this past May with $100.1 million. Of course, both films brought with them an enormous built-in audience so they belong in a different league than Eye and Disturbia.
LaBeouf has also starred in smaller films such as A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and The Greatest Game Ever Played, which both did more to build his reputation as a serious actor than boost his box office drawing power. Saints opened with a platform release in September 2006 with a gross of only $94,748 and Game brought in $3.6 million during its opening frame in September 2005.
Eye certainly proves that LaBeouf is more than capable of opening a film on his own outside of established franchises.