Paramount and Hasbro’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” has launched with a solid $5.5 million from about 3,000 North American locations in Tuesday night previews.
“Transformers: The Last Knight,” starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Michael Bay, opened at 7 p.m. Tuesday night at 546 locations for 3D Imax and RealD large format showings, then expanded to the remaining locations an hour later. The sci-fi action tentpole expands Wednesday to 4,069 venues domestically and is the only new wide release this weekend.
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.”
Paramount decided last month to move the release of “Transformers: The Last Knight” forward by two days. The four previous “Transformers” installments have grossed $3.77 billion worldwide, including $1 billion for the most recent “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in 2014.
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“The Last Knight” is tracking to gross about $70 million during its five-day domestic opening — far lower than the $100 million debut for “Age of Extinction” during the three-day launch period of June 27-29, 2014. The reported production budget for this latest installment was $217 million.
Bay, who is directing his fifth and final “Transformers,” has been touting the film as being the first to be shot entirely in Imax 3D. Aside from Wahlberg, the 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 and Anthony Hopkins. Moner portrays a street kid who’s wise beyond her years. 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.
Reviewers have not been impressed with “Transformers: The Last Knight,” which has a 17% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“The Last Knight” will open in 42 international markets on Friday, which represent 80% of the film’s foreign footprint, including China, the U.K., Russia, and Korea.