‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Crumbles With Franchise-Low Opening Day

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Paramount and Hasbro’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” has generated a moderate $15.7 million in first-day business Wednesday in North America, signaling a launch in the $65 million range for the first five days.

The domestic launch at 4,069 sites of the fifth Transformers film came in somewhat below studio forecasts, which had been about $70 million for the Wednesday-Sunday period. With a production cost of $217 million, “Transformers: The Last Knight” is a high-stakes bet that’s dependent on its overseas performance to wind up with a profit.

Its opening-day number is also below that of any other movie in the modern franchise. The 2007 original grossed $36.6 million when it opened on a Tuesday. 2009’s “Revenge of the Fallen” earned $62 million on a Wednesday, and 2011’s “Dark of the Moon” — also launched on a Wednesday — brought in $37.7 million. “Age of Extinction,” the most recent installment before “Last Knight” opened on a Friday to $41.9 million.

“The Last Knight” opens in its 42 foreign territories this weekend, including China, the U.K., Russia, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Hong Kong. That’s about 80% of the international footprint for the film.



Film Review: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

The sci-fi tentpole starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Michael Bay, generated a decent B+ Cinema Score from first-day moviegoers, who were 57% male and 43% female. A total of 29% of the audience was under 18 and gave the film an A. The film is rated PG-13.

The Wednesday number included $5.5 million in Tuesday night previews at about 3,000 locations. The preview number of $5.5 million is a match for the Thursday night previews from May 26 on Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

Aside from Wahlberg, “The Last Knight” cast also includes Stanley Tucci reprising his role from “Age of Extinction,” alongside Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, and John Turturro from the first three movies. Newcomers include Isabela Moner, who portrays a street kid who’s wise beyond her years, and Anthony Hopkins is in the key role of Sir Edmund Burton, an astronomer and historian who lives with several Transformers on an estate in the British countryside.

Hopkins and Wahlberg are in a race to prevent the destruction of the world by uncovering the secrets of the past and the origins of the Transformers.

The weekend is seeing adding to the summer slump with the season down 4.7% to $1.54 billion to date as of June 20, according to comScore. Year-to-date box office is up 4.7% to $5.29 billion.

“The expected performance of  ‘Transformers 5’ will unlikely be able to reverse this June gloom,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore. “However, if this season has taught us anything, it’s that fortunes can rise and fall faster in this marketplace than perhaps any other in recent memory and any long-term prognostications about where this summer will wind up come Labor Day should definitely be written in pencil.”


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  1. B5 says:

    Stanley Tucci DOES NOT reprise his role from “Age of Extinction”. If you’re going to write an article on the film, perhaps you should SEE the film.

  2. Timely Comment says:

    I think audiences have giant-robots-shapeshifting-computer-special-effects movie fatigue.

    Michael Bay shepherding the 5th entry in a movie series apparently isn’t getting the Box Office dollars from viewers flocking to theater seats this time— ’80s kids having grown up with the toys and cartoons have tapped out their nostalgia about them?

    The visual Bay styling and Marky Mark’s funky bunch that replaced The Beef, and even Sir Anthony Hopkins dude-ing a paycheck is paying off the movie investment lesser with TRANSFORMERS: The Last Knight. But I guess the movie’s still “entertaining” for a Summer release…

    At least the audience could flock to Bay’s stylistic bro and filmschool roommate Zack Snyder for visual flair in the DC Films— those do deliver great images to munch popcorn to! The Box Office dollars are STILL there to be fleeced.

    (With Bay and Snyder, it’s amazing that the Pasadena Art School of Design has achieved this stylistic cinematic stamp on today’s blockbuster— sure breaks the UCLA and USC dominance of Hollywood movies! Wonder why don’t they advertise this fact more?)

  3. Sam says:

    What’s up with moving new theater movie releases from Friday to Thursday evening and now Wednesday evening? First music industry moved new music releases from Tuesday to Friday and now this crap. I don’t have problems with changes, but damn.

    • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

      I guess the more days it plays the higher they can claim the “weekend” total was and use that in the advertising. I wouldn’t be surprised if some movies started playing on Mondays.

    • Cath says:

      This one actually “opened” Tuesday evening. Leaving that aside, how many people can go to movies during the day on Wednesdays? I went with my son but he works nights and I have the summer off. Parents who were home were probably taking kids to see Cars 3. High school and college aged males were probably working. Who does that leave?

  4. halkilmer says:

    Tucci didn’t reprise his role from Transformers 4. He plays a completely different character.

  5. Billy Gregson says:

    How can you say that it missed it’s 70M Wednesday through Sunday goal in an article written THURSDAY at 8 AM?

  6. Jess says:

    Dear Variety,

    Stanley Tucci does not reprise his role from Age of Extinction. He plays a totally different character. Tyrese Gibson is not in this movie unless I somehow missed him.

  7. JimG. says:

    The last film did 1.1b WW thanks to 858m Intl so Foreign is basically the only reason these movies get made, like the Furious films. It might not cross 1b this time but they should still see a good profit. And even then the merchandising going strong since the 80s will give them a nice bank on top. At this point the quality of the movies is immaterial; it’s the only way Bey is still a working filmmaker.

  8. Spider says:

    Saw this flick yesterday. To begin with: Stanley Tucci and Tyrese Gibson are NOT in this movie (unless, their parts were cut and left on the cutting room floor). This movie is more of the same bloated, sensory overload that is synonymous with the franchise. From the skimpy shorts of a female protagonist to the lame jokes that just fall flat, to the obligatory product placement (Wahlberg drinking yet, another Bud Light), all punctuated by one explosion after another. Michael Bay has been going bankrupt in the imagination dept and his direction is noticeably tired and burned out….. Wahlberg and Duhamel look bored all the time and it’s Laura Haddock and Isabella Moner that are all in and impress, at least I was impressed at their devotion. But, the one I dutifully applaud is Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is the only actor who truly looks to be enjoying himself. The man is simply just having a ball in a rather, substantial role. All in all, this seemed to be the only “Transformers” film to feature way more human interaction and less of the robots than any previous installment that I recall. Optimus Prime only had about 10 minutes of screen time (maybe, less) all throughout??? I would be greatly surprised if this film makes the coveted $1 Billion dollar worldwide gross it is pegged to reach!

    • Spider says:

      CORRECTION: Stanley Tucci IS in this flick. He plays a completely different character than the previous installment. Personally, I thought it was Peter Stormare….. I stand corrected.

      • Cath says:

        I was puzzled by Tucci’s name in the credits. Found out later that he plays Merlin. Who knew?

  9. Rudy Mario says:

    The director and alleged star should retire.

    • Billy Gregson says:

      Good thing this was the last one for both of them… Unless you mean from their jobs. In which case, how much money would YOU walk away from?

  10. Mark.P says:

    Let’s be honest, this movie promises a lot, sort of delivers and turns into a giant mess.

  11. navtej singh says:

    well it was inevitable domestic total will be close to 150m which is what it’s going to make in china in opening weekend

  12. Robert Samuels says:

    I assume the Franchise-Low is partly due to it opening on a Wednesday…

    The Film Industry responds to Michael Bay’s Transformers in a similar fashion to how Media Outlets responded to Trump. Do with that as you will.

  13. Walter says:

    Could they please stop making these?

    • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

      Get people in China to stop watching them and they will. The last one made $320 million in China as compared to $245 million in the USA.

  14. Mark says:

    Good. Saw it yesterday and it’s probably the worst live action transformers film.

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