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

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.

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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