“Transformers 5” Marks Lowest Opening for Franchise, “The Big Sick” Scores in Just 5 Theaters

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Box Office 6.26

Film  Weekend Opening Weekend Current Gross
Transformers: The Last Knight $44.6m $44.6m $68.4m
Wonder Woman $24.9m $103.2m $318.1m
Cars 3 $24m $53.6m $98.7m
47 Meters Down $7m $11.2m $23.9m
The Mummy $6m $31.6m $68.7m

The weekend before a long holiday held some surprises, and surprising success stories, at the box office.

First up, it looks like audiences may be tiring of giant robots — at least ones helmed in largely bombastic ways by Michael Bay. Transformers: The Last Knight earned $44.6 million in its opening weekend for a five-day total of $68.4 million, the lowest opening in the franchise yet. Besides the first film in 2007, the remaining three installments — 2009’s Revenge of the Fallen, 2011’s Dark of the Moon, and 2014’s Age of Extinction — all opened in the $100 million range, from $97 to $108 million. Perhaps what is even more astonishing is that those three films all opened over 3 or 4 day weekends, so even with The Last Knight‘s extra time in theaters, it still couldn’t manage to come close to its predecessors’ openings. However, as everyone knows, where this franchise truly succeeds, and why it’s so lucrative for Paramount, is because of its international box office. The Last Knight, so far, has taken in $199.2 million from foreign markets, which is only a few million shy of Age of Extinction‘s international opening. Still, it’s clear The Last Knight, which currently boasts a global total $267.7 million, has plenty of catching up to do if it wants to catch up with the rest of the franchise and prove Transformers is still a relevant and successful IP.

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Wonder Woman and Cars 3 ended neck-and-neck by the weekend’s conclusion, signaling a bigger drop for Cars 3 than had been expected. While family-friendly animated films tend to have smaller drops than most blockbusters, Cars 3 dropped 53 percent in its second weekend, bringing its domestic total just short of $100 million. Globally, the film has made $140.8 million, still bringing in good numbers for Pixar but ultimately, like Transformers, it’s clear the Cars franchise doesn’t have much gas left in the tank. It needs to make a little less than $100 million more domestically to surpass the next-highest film in the franchise, Cars 2 ($191 million), but it’s still more than $300 million short of surpassing Cars’ global total of $462 million (Cars 2, meanwhile, made $562 million globally). It’s most likely Cars 3 will complete its run as the lowest-grossing flick of the franchise and at that time, Pixar will already be on to its other upcoming projects.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned Wonder Woman has yet to have a bad weekend. For its fourth weekend, it dropped only 39.6 percent, bringing in an expected $24.9 million, which gives it a domestic total of $318.1 million. With only $12 million to go, which it will undoubtedly do by its fifth weekend, it will surpass Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s $330 million to become the most successful film of the DC Extended Universe domestically. Globally, it still has some ways to go. By next weekend, it should surpass Man of Steel‘s $668 million as Wonder Woman currently sits at $653.9 million worldwide. Whether it will be able to beat, or even come close to, Suicide Squad‘s $745 million or Batman v Superman‘s $873 million remains to be seen, but it is, realistically, unlikely. Still, Wonder Woman has continually proven to defy expectations so who knows what could happen? Finally, as we mentioned last week, Wonder Woman has demolished the record for highest-grossing film from a female director, previously held by Mamma Mia! at $609 million.

And here’s where, once more, shame on me for not giving shark thrillers released during summer their due because 47 Meters Down landed in the top five for the second time in a row when I predicted it would not. Dropping only 33.6 percent in its second weekend for an intake of $7 million, the film is now at $24 million. While it may not be nearly as well-reviewed as last year’s The Shallows, there’s something about the adrenaline rush of a thriller set at a location that is popular over summer, which has audiences flocking to see this movie. (Well, flocking may be too strong of a verb, but there are certainly far more movie-goers eager to see this film than expected.)

The Mummy rounded out the top five, the last time it will be on this list. It dropped a little over 58 percent in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total to $68.7 million, all but assuring it won’t reach $100 million domestically. Its global total is slightly more promising at $343 million but hardly enough to get Universal’s Dark Universe started with a bang.

The Big SickAmazon Studios/

The rest of the weekend held some notable results, including All Eyez on Me‘s drastic second-weekend fall. I had predicted it would drop, but not quite this much (although, it really does not come as that much of a surprise). After a surprisingly strong opening, the film dropped an astonishing 78 percent, bringing in only $5.8 million and raising its domestic total to $38.5 million.

Finally, two of the indie flicks that also opened this weekend, The Beguiled and The Big Sick, did solid business. With an average of $60,138 in four theaters, The Beguiled managed to be director Sofia Coppola’s biggest debut average in the entirety of her . It opens in over 500 more theaters in North America next weekend. The Big Sick, the romantic comedy starring and co-written by Kumail Nanjiani about his own real-life relationship with his wife, scored a theater average of $87,000 in five theaters, the largest per screen average of any film opening this year (and nearly eight times The Last Knight‘s per theater average). It will be exciting to see how both of these films perform going forward.

(Source: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed.)

 | Associate Editor
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