In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Bumblebee stars Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena say they aren’t worried about the film’s box office numbers. This is in response to Bumblebee being the lowest-grossing film in the Transformers franchise.
Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings), Bumblebee is the sixth movie in the Transformers franchise. In the '80s-set film - a prequel to Michael Bay's Transformers - Steinfeld stars as Charlie Watson, a teenager who receives a yellow Volkswagen Beetle for her 18th birthday shortly after the death of her father. In a supporting role, Cena appears as Colonel Jack Burns, a former U.S. Army Ranger who attacks an approaching spacecraft - B-127 (aka Bumblebee) - that crash lands on a secret government facility. Charlie’s new vehicle transforms into Bumblebee, thus setting in motion her involvement in the Autobot resistance and an intergalactic civil war that moves to planet Earth. Bumblebee premiered nationwide on December 21, 2018; and, to date, the Paramount film has earned almost $200 million at the global box office and was reportedly produced for approximately $100-137 million.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Steinfeld and Cena discussed Bumblebee’s box office numbers and the inherent competition that comes along with making a Hollywood blockbuster. For Steinfeld, she’s concerned with the story itself, and how it connects with franchise fans - specifically referring to the fact that its title may have thrown off some people. She then touched on the fact that Bumblebee "has a lot of heart and a lot of soul," adding, "I think that that's what people are learning after they see it. And so, here I am, spreading the word. This is a film with a lot of heart and soul. If that's what you're looking for, you can find that as well as what you know and love from Transformers films.”
Similarly, the WWE veteran Cena is concerned with value more than huge numbers, understanding that consistency is crucial. He said, "You could speculate that this would have been a better week or that would have been a better month," but added that the box office differences between Bumblebee and other Transformers films aren't as big of a deal as they seem because Paramount "didn't spend as much as they did on the other Transformers movies." In fact, he even drew parallels to the world of professional wrestling, saying:
"There's always going to be competition. In the world of WWE, there's always something that can take... they can give a consumer another way to buy a ticket. So I'm used to a very competitive atmosphere and I don't... you never want to... you never don't want competition. I think competition is good for all movies, and it's good for moviegoers. So I'm very happy with what it's done."
Earlier this month, Bumblebee’s screenwriter Christina Hodson (who is also penning the DC film Birds of Prey) revealed that she knows exactly what a potential sequel should be about - which Knight is reportedly workshopping. In addition, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura has been on record about the challenges of making an Optimus Prime solo movie, which could be a more likely possibility if Bumblee's lower box office numbers don't affect Paramount's decision to push the franchise forward, in terms of standalone films. While fans of franchise films typically expect huge financial returns, Bumblebee is anything but a failure, and critics have been especially kind to the latest Transformers film.
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020