Transformers: The Last Knight is on pace to have the weakest domestic opening for a Transformers film. The Last Knight, of course, marks the fifth film in the live-action franchise, as well as the fifth directed by Michael Bay. And while the first three films in the franchise did huge business domestically – Transformers grossed $319 million, Revenge of the Fallen took in $402 million and Dark of the Moon landed $352 million – the final North American tally for Age of Extinction dropped dramatically to $245 million.
On the flip side, overseas business went up considerably for Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction, earning enough to eclipse the $1 billion mark globally for each of those Transformers films. The Last Knight, however, might be a somewhat different story.
Judging its opening numbers, it appears that international audiences are going to drive the business once again for the fifth Transformers film. According to The Wrap, The Last Knight is on pace to pull only $64.3 million when its five-day opening frame closes out Sunday. The second lowest-opening in the franchise came with the original Transformers film, which made $70.5 million in its three-day opening weekend in July of 2007 on 4,011 screens. By contrast, The Last Knight had the benefit of opening on Wednesday on 4,069 screens.
Perhaps most alarming is that Friday through Sunday, The Last Knight is expected to gross anywhere from $40 million to $42 million; an amount considerably less than the first Transformers made in its three-day opening frame 10 years ago. The silver lining for The Last Knight is that its opening weekend gross will be enough to unseat Cars 3 as this weekend's domestic box office champ. The Disney-Pixar threequel is expected to fall to third place this weekend with $26 million in ticket sales, just behind Wonder Woman, which is expected to reclaim the No. 2 spot at the domestic box office with $27 million.
While the weak domestic opening for The Last Knight is no doubt cause for concern for Paramount, the studio should be able to take comfort in the film's reception overseas - which will help push the first weekend global tally of the film far into the $200 million range (initial estimates had the film grossing anywhere from $237.5 million to $270 million). The Last Knight's best reception is in China, where it earned $7 million in opening night previews and $41 million in its opening day Friday. By contrast, The Last Knight made $15 million domestically in its first day.
It's hard to tell what's causing the dwindling interest in the Transformers series in the U.S., but one possible culprit could be the excessive length in the film installments (The Last Knight clocks in at 2 hours 29 minutes) - or fans could simply be tiring of Bay's bombastic directing style (referred to by some as "Bayhem").
The only way to know for sure will be with the reception of future Transformers installments (Bay has said that he's done directing Transformers films, leaving the franchise to hunt for a new director for Transformers 6). Or, it could be that audiences are merely looking for something different - which is happening sooner than later with director Travis Knight's Bumblebee, which is mixing things up by setting the film in the 1980s.
Source: The Wrap
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Transformers 5/Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) release date: Jun 21, 2017