Transformers: The Last Knight is breaking box office records - of the wrong kind | hollywood | Hindustan Times
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Transformers: The Last Knight is breaking box office records - of the wrong kind

Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth installment directed by Michael Bay, has scored the lowest debut of the action franchise.

hollywood Updated: Jun 25, 2017 21:59 IST
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Optimus Prime in a scene from, Transformers: The Last Knight.
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Optimus Prime in a scene from, Transformers: The Last Knight.(AP)

It seems the Transformers franchise is rusty. As of Sunday morning Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth installment directed by Michael Bay, looks to bring in $69.1 million from 4,069 domestic locations during its five-day opening weekend. That’s a franchise low for the sequel from Paramount and Hasbro, behind the first in the series, which earned $70.5 million in 2007.

The Last Knight carries an estimated $217 million production budget. This makes Transformers: The Last Knight the latest summer blockbuster to bank on overseas ticket sales to have a shot at turning a profit. In China, the big-budget action sequel made $41 million in its opening day alone. The projected international cume through Sunday is $196.2 million, powered by $123.4 million in China.

The Last Knight comes at a time when Paramount could have used an all-around hit, following recent misses Baywatch and Ghost in the Shell. While the latest Transformers movie has been advertised as “the final chapter” and Bay’s last go-around, the franchise will continue -- Paramount has at least two more movies slated, including a spinoff that could star Hailee Steinfeld.

Actor Mark Wahlberg arrives for the U.S. premiere of the film Transformers: The Last Knight in Chicago, Illinois.

The franchise has historically been massively profitable and seen solid multiples for the studio. Together, the first four earned over $1.3 billion domestically and well over $3.5 billion worldwide.

The latest take on the series centres on an alliance between Bumblebee, Cade Yeager -- who Mark Wahlberg also played in 2014’s Age of Extinction -- and roles played by franchise newcomers Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock. Together, the team works together to save the world. Audiences have given the film a B+ CinemaScore, while critics have mostly dismissed it -- it currently holds a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Last Knight was uncontested at the box office this weekend, but a few indie releases showed traction. Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled remake from Focus Features played at four theatres this weekend, and should gross $240,545 with a strong per screen average before it expands to over 500 locations next weekend.

“We’re thrilled by this opening,” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features’ distribution president. “This is Focus’ third collaboration with Sofia and she’s created an entertaining, atmospheric thriller featuring strong female representation in front of and behind the camera.”

And Kumail Nanjiani’s critically adored romantic comedy The Big Sick should earn $435,000 during its opening weekend in five locations -- that would give the Lionsgate and Amazon Studios release the highest per screen average of any film that has opened this year so far.

“Kumail and Emily’s true story provided audiences of all ages a much-needed alternative to the summer blockbusters,” said Bob Berney, Amazon Studios’ distribution chief.

Wonder Woman continued to post impressive numbers, and holds onto second place during its fourth weekend in theatres. This weekend, it should earn an additional $25.2 million, bringing its domestic total to $318.4 million. Earlier this week, the film became the highest-grossing live-action movie to be directed by a woman -- a major distinction for Patty Jenkins.

Disney and Pixar’s Cars 3 also looks to earn $25.2 million domestically during its second weekend. Some estimates have the film slightly lower, just below $25 million. The family film, which won last weekend’s box office, is expected to pass the $100 million mark in North America by Monday.

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