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Transformers: The Last Knight Opens To Franchise-Low $69 Million

Transformers: The Last Knight officially holds the record for the smallest opening weekend in the franchise thus far. Variety reports that the film opened to $69.1 million over a five-day period, good for first place at the weekend box office but below even the first movie in the franchise, which earned $70.5 million during its first weekend in theaters.  

Things were looking bad for The Last Knight from its opening day. The movie 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 Last Knight ended up amassing a Friday to Sunday gross of just $45.3 million, a slight improvement over its mid-week performance but still a bad showing for the film. 

The Last Knight, the last of the franchise to be directed by Michael Bay (or so he says) and likely 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 at a 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

These factors, plus some stiff competition from the likes of Wonder Woman and Cars 3, shoot the film down to the lowest spot thus far in the franchise, a big problem for the hit-starved Paramount, who recently suffered losses with Baywatch and Ghost in the ShellThe Last Knight's $69.1 million is pitiful compared to Revenge of the Fallen's $108.9 million, Dark of the Moon's $115.8 million, and Age of Extinction's $100 million, and could potentially spell bad things for the lofty plans the company has for the Transformers franchise going forward.

The box office performance of Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction, though, offers some hope for The Last Knight. Both films fell domestically from the first two moves in the franchise, with Dark of the Moon earning a domestic total of $352 million and Age of Extinction earning $254 million domestic, compared to the first film's $319 million domestic and the second's $402 million domestic, but they were saved by the worldwide box office, both earning over $1 billion internationally. 

Paramount is hoping for a similar performance from The Last Knight, which will need to do big business overseas to make up its estimated $217 million budget plus marketing. This is becoming an increasing pattern at the struggling summer box office, with overseas sales helping to save this summer's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a domestic disappointment, and providing the last hope for The Mummy, which has topped the worldwide box office for the past two weeks despite being buried domestically

The Last Knight overtook The Mummy for the top spot this weekend, opening in 42 foreign territories, including major markets like China, Australia, and Russia. Current estimates already put it at around $196 million worldwide, including $123.4 million in China. "In the end, our business is global. The global number does matter, and this movie is built for global audiences," said Megan Collina, Paramount's distribution president. However, she did add that the company "certainly would have liked to see more come out of the domestic market."

Elsewhere at the weekend box office, Wonder Woman continued to prove super, adding just under $25.2 million and bringing its domestic total to over $300 million. This solidifies the movie as the highest grossing live-action film from a female director and gets it closer to surpassing the domestic total of DCEU competition Man of Steel, which had a larger opening but a sharper drop in later weeks. (Man of Steel earned $377 million domestic overall but sat at $271 million at this point in its run.) Cars 3 also took in just under $25.2 million, while new limited releases The Beguiled and The Big Sick impressed, earning high per-screen averages ahead of their wider releases in the coming weeks.

You can view this weekend's full box office results below.

Top 10 Weekend Box Office Gross

1. Transformers: The Last Knight: $45,300,000 (–), $45,300,000 Total Domestic Gross 

2. Cars 3: $25,175,000 (53.1 percent), $99,882,893 Total Domestic Gross

3. Wonder Woman: $25,175,000 (-39.0 percent), $318,380,158 Total Domestic Gross

4. 47 Meters Down: $7,435,000 (33.6 percent), $24,260,932 Total Domestic Gross

5. All Eyez on Me: $5,850,000 (-77.9 percent), $38,642,319 Total Domestic Gross

6. The Mummy: $5,836,900 (-59.8 percent), $68,520,570 Total Domestic Gross

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: $5,239,000 (-41.6 percent), $160,004,326 Total Domestic Gross

8. Rough Night: $4,700,000 (-41.3 percent), $16,634,947 Total Domestic Gross

9. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie: $4,280,000 (-40.4 percent), $65,743,176 Total Domestic Gross

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: $3,000,000 (-40.8 percent), $380,213,327 Total Domestic Gross