Box Office Brasserie – Movie News For Movie Lovers
There’s no filmmaker quite like Michael Bay—and that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your specific cinematic tastes.
There’s no denying this, however: throughout his career he has carried on the blockbuster filmmaking tradition like no one else in the business—his films are big, loud, expensive, and built specifically for multiplexes and the big screen experience.
In fact, “Transformers: The Last Knight”—the fifth in the franchise—was shot exclusively on IMAX digital cameras—and that means, quite literally, more bang for your buck. A lot more bang. The eye-gouging and ear-piercing kind.
If you asked most viewers what the plots were of the previous four flicks, I doubt a lot of ticket-buyers could tell you. Big robots, duking it out with puny humans thrown into the mix, flailing about and occasionally providing a human element to the blitzkrieg battles: that’s “Transformers” in a nutshell.
If that formula sounds a tad derivative to you by now, you’re not alone, as only one sequel so far this summer, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” has been able to top its predecessor in terms of domestic box office gross, and most have them have let down audiences.
So who or what is to blame for this culture of sequel disappointment? The age old adage: Hollywood has run dry? Or is it a case that North America doesn’t set all the trends anymore, as the international box office has become a beast that its own master can no longer control?
And the other fact: franchises like “Transformers” aren’t just hits on a global scale, but where it really counts: selling mass merchandise. That’s a big part of the ballgame now, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon, considering how many of these franchises still pull out a profit despite bloated budgets and scripts that are more often than not, snoozefests.
We already saw what happened to the fifth incarnation of “Pirates of the Caribbean” this summer: “Dead Men Tell No Tales” will end up grossing much less than “On Stranger Tides,” but more than “The Curse of the Black Pearl,” and will go on to become one of the most profitable films of the summer on a global scale. That’s the rub.
Sure, “The Last Knight” won’t live up to the previous records of the “Transformers” lineage, but does it really need to? Nope. Not really. Dying on the vine is just fine for a series that continually brushes up against $1 billion worldwide with each installment.
Paramount, more than any other studio, needs a hit bad right now. And this is just what the box office doctor ordered to keep them in the game for a bit longer. If “The Last Knight” is able to hit at least $750M globally, then maybe they’ll finally give that “G.I. Joe” crossover the “Go, Joe!” greenlight.
In 4,000+ theaters starting Wednesday, “The Last Knight” should easily conquer the weekend and approach $75M over the 5-day stretch. That’s a steep drop off from the $100M debut of “Age of Extinction”; however, that’s just the law of the sequel landscape lately.
In Tuesday night previews, “Transformers 5” opened with $5.5M—about the same as “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which went on to debut with $62M over Memorial Day weekend. Not much more than meets the eye here, folks.
The real action this weekend is in arthouse theaters as Lionsgate coughs up “The Big Sick” exclusively in five theaters and Sophia Coppola unveils her latest, “The Beguiled,” in four venues.
- Transformers: The Last Knight – $58M
- Wonder Woman – $23M
- Cars 3 – $22M
- All Eyez on Me – $13M
- The Mummy $7M
Jeff Bock, NewsWhistle’s movie editor, is the senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations in Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at Jeff@NewsWhistle.com.