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Transformers: The Last Knight Has Franchise-Low Opening Day

Things aren't looking good for Transformers: The Last Knight. The film saw the lowest opening day for any movie in the franchise thus far, leading initial $70 to $75 million opening weekend expectations, already a franchise low, to be pushed down even further. (via Variety)

The Last Knight opened to $15.7 million on Wednesday (including its $5.5 million from previews), a low number compared to the original's $36.6 million opening Tuesday, Revenge of the Fallen's $62 million opening Wednesday, Dark of the Moon's $37.7 million opening Wednesday, and Age of Extinction's $41.9 million opening Friday. The haul has the film now projecting for somewhere in the $65 million range for its five-day opening weekend, which would put the movie below even the original's $70.5 million opening

The Last Knight, the last of the franchise to be directed by Michael Bay and potentially the last for star Mark Wahlberg, is set to redefine the franchise by exposing the hidden history of the Transformers on Earth. While the movie has an impressive cast including Sir Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Stanley Tucci, and Jerrod Carmichael, buzz has been low, with the film failing to garner much chatter on social media amidst a summer full of big budget action movies.

The movie has also been plagued by negative reviews, falling below a 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While this is nothing new for the franchise (the rating puts it in the same boat as Revenge of the Fallen and Age of Extinction), it is still worrisome in a time when the box office is overcrowded with big budget blockbusters. However, it appears that first-day audiences, who were 57 percent male and 29 percent under 18, were still invested in what they saw, as they gave it a B+ Cinema Score, according to Deadline.

The movie faces tough competition, including DC's Wonder Woman, which will be entering its fourth week in theaters but shows no signs of slowing down; Pixar's Cars 3, which won last weekend; and Tom Cruise's The Mummy, which is still struggling to find its footing domestically but likely attracts a similar audience to The Last Knight. The Last Knight is the only new wide release this weekend, with Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled and Kumail Nanjiani's The Big Sick both entering limited release. 

The Last Knight is hoping to make a big splash overseas, though, where the market has shown to be friendlier to huge blockbusters. (Overseas sales helped save this summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a domestic disappointment, and are the last hope for The Mummy, which has topped the worldwide box office for the past two weeks.) The movie is set to open in 42 foreign territories this weekend, including major markets like China, Australia, and Russia.

Still, with a $217 million budget before marketing, The Last Knight is going to have to do quite a lot of work in order to be profitable, and a poor domestic performance could be the first nail in its coffin. Despite the movie's floundering performance, though, there are already more than a dozen future movies planned, including a Bumblebee spin-off set to begin filming this August. The franchise is one of many that we think has too many unnecessary sequels.