Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Both Bombs and Breaks Records
Another weekend, another Weekend Box Office Report! While it won’t surprise you to find out that Michael Bay’s latest episode of Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots won the weekend, the specifics of that win come with enough asterisks to make even Barry Bonds blush. It was a terrible weekend for Transformers: The Last Knight on one continent and a record-breaking opening on another, which just goes to show how confusing this whole box office thing can be at times. Here’s the projected numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
|1||Transformers: The Last Knight||$45,300,000||$11,133||$45,300,000|
|2||Cars 3||$25,175,000 . (-53%)||$5,915||$99,882,893|
|3||Wonder Woman||$25,175,000 (-39%)||$6,401||$318,380,158|
|4||47 Meters Down||$7,435,000 (-33%)||$3,009||$24,260,932|
|5||All Eyez on Me||$5,850,000 (-77%)||$2,367||$38,642,319|
|6||The Mummy||$5,836,000 (-59%)||$1,959||$68,520,570|
|7||Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales||$5,239,000 (-41%)||$2,136||$160,004,326|
|8||Rough Night||$4,700,000 (-41%)||$1,486||$16,634,947|
|9||Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie||$4,280,000 (-40%)||$1,838||$65,743,176|
|10||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2||$3,000,000 (-40%)||$2,044||$380,213,327|
The number one movie this weekend was Transformers: The Last Knight, but how well the movie performed sorta depends on where you lived. On the one hand, The Last Knight only made $45 million domestically in its opening weekend, placing it numerically closer to the opening weekend of the 1986 animated Transformers movie ($1.7 million) than either of the previous two live-action Transformers releases (Dark Side of the Moon and Age of Extinction grossed $97 million and $100 million, respectively). Earlier this week, sites like Deadline had The Last Knight opening at $70 million, and even that was being regarded as a disappointing number; this makes the $45 million a borderline Hollywood tragedy for a film with a $217 million budget. Ah, but the global market! There Transformers is a smashing success, earning $196 million over the weekend — including a franchise record $123 million in China — not particularly far off the $202 million foreign opening weekend of Age of Extinction. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but I’m glad it’s not my job to make decisions about the future of franchises that do poorly in North America and incredible abroad. There’s going to be some very dour meetings at Paramount come Monday morning.
(Editor's Note: Since Transformers: The Last Knight opened on a Wednesday, the total 5-day gross for the film is $69 million, not the $45 million listed above.)
And since Transformers: The Last Knight was the only new release to crack the Top 10, let’s diverge a little from the formula and talk about some of the smaller releases, too. This weekend marked the limited release of both The Big Sick and The Beguiled, two of the more highly anticipated non-blockbusters of the summer, and both films did particularly well in their (extremely) limited engagement. Opening across nine theaters in total, they sold to packed houses, with The Big Sick and The Beguiled averaging $87k and $60k per theater, respectively. Meanwhile, Salma Hayek’s Beatriz at Dinner, which finished just outside the Top 10, expanded to 400 more theaters and saw a 158% boost in box office as a result. The nature of this column often means we’re talking about the biggest, loudest, and most expensive movies of each weekend, so if you want to mix things up and see something a little smaller and artier, those are the ones to keep an eye on.
And now back to your regularly scheduled box office report, already in progress! As of this writing, Wonder Woman and Cars 3 are neck-and-neck for the second spot on the list with $25 million, with Cars 3 expected to finish slightly ahead of its superhero competition. The optimist might suggest that Cars 3’s more gradual decline than its immediate predecessor — 53% vs. 60% — bodes well for the Pixar film, but you also have to remember that Cars 2 opened better and is still beating its sequel on a per-weekend basis. The fact that Cars 3 is up to $142 million worldwide would be more encouraging if not for the film’s $175 million budget. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman continues to live up to her name, enjoying another weekend of persistent box office numbers and a global gross that has pushed above $650 million. Believe or not, Wonder Woman should pass both Suicide Squad and Batman vs. Superman to become the highest-grossing (domestic) film in the DC Cinematic Universe in the next week or two. Wowzers.
In fourth place is 47 Meters Down, which aggressively expanded to an additional 200 theaters and maintained a strong weekend total of $7.4 million as a result. Granted, that expansion is a little misleading; the per-theater average from last week was almost $2k more, suggesting that the film’s below-average box office drop is disguising more typical box office diminishing returns. Still, $24 million isn’t bad for a film that might’ve gone the direct-to-video route in years past. Things aren’t so rosy for All Eyez on Me in fifth place, which dropped a whopping 77% en route to a $5.8 million weekend. The film is still a couple of million shy of its estimated production budget — $38 million vs. $40 million — which can’t be good news for Lionsgate executives who probably hoped they had another Straight Outta Compton on their hands.
The Mummy finished in sixth place this week with $5.8 million. This brought its domestic total up to $68 million, with a much-more-impressive international sitting at $273 million. Again, wouldn’t want to be a studio executive trying to read these particular tea leaves, but the film is about to triple its budget, so sure, let’s make more of ’em. In seventh place this week is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with $5.2 million, giving it $160 million in North America and $517 million (!) at the global box office. This one’s much easier to figure out: we’re going to get Pirates of the Caribbean movies until the earth becomes a cold, dark husk.
Rough Night finished in eighth place with $4.7 million, meaning that the film had a more gentle decline than its disappointing opening weekend would suggest (though that also meant it had less room to fall). Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie continues to hang in there in ninth place, grossing $4.2 million and bringing its domestic haul up to $65 million. Consider DreamWorks Animation’s experiment with lower production budgets a soft success. Finally, in 10th place this weekend with $3 million is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. This probably will be the last weekend that Guardians finishes in the Top 10, but with a global gross of more than $850 million, the film’s work here is done. Sleep well, young space a-holes. You’ve earned it.