With its first box office numbers, Transformers: The Last Knight is already scoring lower than 2014's Age of Extinction. The film is the fifth installment in Paramount's ongoing live-action Transformers franchise and is currently said to be the last installment directed by Michael Bay. In keeping with his cinematic style too, Bay looks to be going out guns blazing once again with The Last Knight, which promises to be the most expansive and ambitious Transformers film that Bay and Paramount have ever released, for better or for worse.
However, even despite more effort being put into the film's story, mythology, and overall narrative arc this time around - especially when compared to the previous three Transformers films - early reviews and reactions seem to indicate that not much has changed, quality-wise with The Last Knight. And while the largely negative reviews to a majority of the previous films haven't had much of an effect on their box office performances, it looks like The Last Knight may be getting off to the slowest start of any of the Transformers movies to date.
Deadline is reporting that Transformers: The Last Knight managed to rake in a total of $5.5 million in its first preview night showings last night from a total of 3,000 different locations. This is significantly lower than the $8.75M that Age of Extinction managed to accumulate with its first showings back in 2014, despite that film premiering in fewer locations than The Last Knight did. Currently, The Last Knight is tracking to open with $70M over five days at the box office, which would officially make it the lowest opening weekend for any Transformers film to date.
In addition to performing lower than Age of Extinction with its first showings, The Last Knight's $5.5 million was also less than the $16 million and $13.5 million that both Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon raked in with their preview nights, respectively. So while the actual, final fate of The Last Knight at the box office remains a mystery for the time being, this does bring up an interesting discussion about the overall longevity of the franchise at the box office.
Up until this point, the Michael Bay-directed outings have proven themselves to be critic-proof at the box office, continuously performing well even despite their consistently negative critical reactions. So it's unlikely that the early negative reviews for The Last Knight are contributing factors to its lower box office numbers, but rather a possible growing disinterest in the franchise from audiences. Whether or not that theory holds any weight will have to wait to be seen - not only until The Last Knight's box office totals are accumulated, but when Paramount's first planned spin-offs and non-Bay-directed outings are released over the next couple of years.
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