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Weekend Box Office: Transformers: The Last Knight Opens in Top Spot but in Unspectacular Fashion

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By Chris Kavan - 06/25/17 at 08:22 PM CT

It was no surprise that the latest Transformers movie opened in the top spot at the box office, but if Michael Bay was hoping that lightning would strike five times, too bad, because it looks like franchise fatigue has finally caught up to the robots in disguise. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman continued to show strength, All Eyez On Me took a sharp drop while shark horror film 47 Meters Down held its ground. All told, it was a pretty tame weekend for the summer and all eyes are now turned toward the extra-long Fourth of July weekend that will hopefully provide the fireworks the box office needs right now.


When can you be both a winner and a loser? Ask Michael Bay, as Transformers: The Last Knight topped the box office with $45.3 million ($69.1 million including its early opening), but that number is by and far the lowest opening for the Transformers franchise by a wide, wide margin. The next closest is the $70.5 million of the original Transformers (over 3 days, not five) back in 2007. In fact, the $69 million five-day opening was nearly less than the opening day total of $62 million that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen opened with on Wednesday back in 2009. But, then again, Revenge of the Fallen was really the peak of this series, as both Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction saw diminishing returns, especially in North America. The Last Knight might prove that Americans have had it with the franchise, but that is only half the story. Overseas, the Transformers are still very much alive and kicking. In China, The Last Knight opened to a franchise-best $123.4 million - for a total of $196 million and a global total of $265 million. That's not bad at all, though numbers in several countries (including the UK, Russia, Germany and Australia) are also lower than the previous Transformer films. It doesn't bode well for long-term prospects, but it may be able to avoid total meltdown. It is trending ahead of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (40% better in direct comparison) and its domestic total will likely wind up between $130-$150 million depending on if it can haul in a decent 4th of July crowd despite its initial opening. If it can entice international audiences, it could easily wind up at over $700 million worldwide, but there is no guarantee.


Cars 3 and Wonder Woman are, as of this writing, in a tie for second place with both films reporting a $25.175 million weekend. I'm starting with Wonder Woman because, frankly, it's the much more interesting film out right now. With another strong hold and drop of just 39%, Wonder Woman continues to be the top movie of the summer. In comparison to similar films, that is a very good hold for a fourth weekend, easily putting it in the same league as The Avengers (34% drop), The Dark Knight (38% drop) and Iron Man (35% drop). The film sits at $318.38 million, and is now pacing ahead Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($311.3) through the same time period. It has already topped Man of Steel's domestic gross, is only $7 million away from Suicide Squad and will have no problem topping Batman v Superman ($330 million) over the coming holiday. The DC extended universe is going to have a new champion and it will be the third-highest grossing DC film of all time, behind just The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. It is now looking like $400 million is actually within reach - certainly $375 million for sure. It also made a major milestone by hitting $635 million worldwide, becoming the largest-grossing live-action film for a female-led director, topping the $609 million of Mamma Mia! back in 2008. The film has just a little ways to got to catch the $665 million of Kung Fu Panda 2 to become the biggest outright film for a female director. While is is still trailing most of the DC films worldwide, it looks like it will at least be able to top Man of Steel in the long run. But don't sweat it, Wonder Woman, you're the movie of the summer and it's looking increasingly like it will be hard to top its debut.

3) CARS 3

As said, Cars 3 is in a tie with Wonder Woman with $25.175 million, a total that represents a 53.1% drop over its opening weekend. The film has $99.9 million (and could hit $100 million with adjusted grosses) and that drop is better than Cars 2 (60%) and not quite as good as Monsters University (44%). It continues to roll out slowly overseas, where it has a $41.4 million total so far with a worldwide total of $141.3 million. It's not going to be a huge domestic hit (it might wind up with $170 million depending on how big a bite Despicable Me 3 takes out of it) nor does it look like it's necessarily going to be a huge international hit, either. But, hey, as long as the kids love the toys, I guess a decent finish is good enough.


Posing the best hold out of any film in the top 10 with a mere 33.6% drop, the shark thriller 47 Meters Down actually jumped a spot from last weekend (where it opened in 5th place), adding $7.43 million to its total, which now stands at $24.26 million. I may have been a bit too hasty to suggest it didn't have a chance to catch The Shallows, but that film's $55.12 million total actually seems like its within reach, depending on how well it plays over the upcoming holiday weekend. It's still a mighty stretch, but I have new respect for the Mandy Moore film, which is going to wind up just fine in the long run.


In the opposite side of the spectrum, while it opened strong, the Tupac biography All Eyez On Me took a mighty second week tumbler, dropping 78% for a $5.85 million weekend and new $38.6 million total. With a reported $40 million budget, the film is likely going to wind up at around $50 million domestic, so any overseas muscle it can flex will be needed in order to offset the marketing costs. I would like to say the coming weekends are going to be more kind, but I have a feeling it's not going to last long in July.

Outside the top five: Adding 414 theaters to its count, Beatriz at Dinner jumped from the 15th to the 11th spot with $1.187 million, and also represented a nearly 159% increase over last weekend. The politically-charged drama starring Salma Hayek and John Lithgow now stands at just over $3 million.

In limited release, the critic-pleasing romantic comedy The Big Sick, starring Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani along with Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter and Ray Romano opening in five theaters with $435,000, representing the best per-screen average ($87,000) for any film opening on more than one screen for 2017.

The biggest milestone news of the week is that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 crossed the $850 million mark worldwide, with a new $851.3 million total.

Next week, the long July 4th holiday frame (essentially a five-day weekend for a lot of people) brings us Edgar Wright's Baby Driver (opening on Wednesday), the animated Despicable Me 3, the Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler comedy The House and the expansion of Sophia Coppala's Civil War drama The Beguiled.


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