Franchise fatigue has set in for Michael Bay’s Transformers series. The latest, Transformers: The Last Knight debuted with a meager $45 million opening weekend, and $69 million since opening last Wednesday. Those numbers do no look great for a movie that cost $215 million (before marketing), and they sound even worse compared to 2014’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which had a $100 million weekend and $200 million over its first five days.
Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg have already sworn off additional Transformers movies, but these numbers should also suggest to Paramount and Hasbro that there’s not much life left in their franchise. The studio should probably put the brakes on that rumored Bumblebee origins movie. There was a time when these movies were critic-proof, but stateside, anyway, positive reviews may have been the only thing that might have convinced audiences to return to the flagging franchise. The 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes did not help matters, nor the two-and-a-half-hour runtime, which is just too long in this day and age — counting drive-time and waiting in line, a person could probably watch six or seven episodes of Netflix’s G.L.O.W. in the time it takes to watch The Last Knight, and it’s a much more entertaining experience.
It’s not all bad news for Michael Bay’s film. It is crushing it internationally, where it has earned more than $200 million since opening. Globally, it may approach $300 million in its opening weekend (including nearly $100 million in China), so the film will almost certainly eke out a profit, but the enthusiasm for the franchise has waned.
There’s no loss of enthusiasm for Wonder Woman. It added more than $26 million in its fourth weekend (better than The Dark Knight did in its fourth weekend) to approach $320 million, overall. It should pass both Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman by next weekend to become the biggest DC movies since The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. The movie has surpassed the $600 million mark internationally. Patty Jenkins now also holds the record for highest-grossing live action film ever by a female director.
In at number three this weekend was Cars 3, which should earn around $25 million in its second weekend and cross the $100 million mark. Both Cars and Cars 2 had made $117 million by the end of their respective second weekends, so the Pixar franchise is also fading. Not to worry, however: The money for Cars is mostly in merchandising. Meanwhile, 47 Meters Down actually jumped a spot this weekend, falling only 38 percent in its second weekend to add another $7 million and bring its total to around $23 million, which isn’t bad for a $5 million film that was originally meant to go straight to VOD. The movie with the gigantic second-weekend drop was the Tupac biopic, All Eyez on Me, which fell 78 percent in its second weekend, falling short of $6 million (the movie has now earned $38 million, so it is approaching its $40 million price tag).
Numbers six through nine are crammed in at around the $5.8 million to $4.8 million range, and we won’t know for sure their order until final numbers come in. Right now, it looks like The Mummy ($68.5 million overall) followed by Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales ($160 million overall), Captain Underpants ($66 million cume) and Rough Night, which has had a rough go at the box office, ending its second weekend with only $16.7 million. The Mummy can at least tout a $300 million box office internationally, so far, while Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has added over $500 million internationally.
Finally, at number ten, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 just keeps hanging on, adding another $3 million to bring its total to more than $380 million stateside, and over $850 million worldwide.
In the specialty market, Kumail Nanjiani struck it big with The Big Sick, a movie he stars in and co-wrote with his wife, Emily Gordon. The film earned $87,000 per screen in five theaters, which is the best per-screen average of 2017 (and the best since La La Land last year). It should continue to roll out across the country in the coming weeks, and become a huge break-out film for Nanjiani. Meanwhile, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled performed modestly in four theaters, earning $240,000.
Heading into the fourth of July weekend, we should see some solid box-office action next weekend from Edgar Wright’s fantastic Baby Driver, Despicable Me 3, and the Will Ferrell/Amy Poehler comedy, The House.