Things aren’t looking good for Transformers: The Last Knight, as the fifth entry in the series is headed for a record low opening box office. For years now, the Transformers franchise has been hoping to spin the flagship films out into more movies. Of course, like many would-be shared universes, it has yet to prove an audience desire for additional films. While each Transformers film has made money, the global box office haul has been slipping. That’s been especially apparent at home, with The Last Knight projected to reach an all-time low.
Earlier today, the totals came in for Transformers preview night, with the numbers some of the lowest of any blockbuster this year and the most dismal for the franchise so far. Despite the end credits scene setting up the future of the franchise and plans already in place for next year’s Bumblebee, the low box office haul isn’t looking good for the series as a whole. Between the overall low numbers for 2017’s summer season and the prominence of other blockbusters like Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it’s becoming increasingly clear that more of the same isn’t going to help Transformers.
On the heels of last night’s poor performance, Deadline is reporting that estimates have The Last Knight opening to a meager $15 million tonight. That estimate is the lowest of the franchise so far, with Age of Extinction pulling in $41.9M and even the first film managing $27.9M. Part of the problem could be the film opening on Wednesday instead of a Friday, but the poor reviews have certainly not helped things. What’s more, the estimations state things will only be getting worse for the film, with even its big Saturday rebound likely coming out to the same as tonight.
All told, the total 5-day projections for the movie are now in the area of $63–65M, down from the already poor $70M the film was considered to earn just a few days ago. The fact that these number are across a five-day spread versus the typical three makes the picture look even worse. The minds behind the series have said they haven’t fully planned all future sequels and spinoffs, which is likely a good thing as Paramount may think twice about moving forward with any new films.
It’s not all bad news for the franchise or its fans. Like The Mummy, The Last Knight is looking to open big internationally, especially in China. With foreign markets playing a larger role in film production, a high global total could help the film break even. Still, on a reported $217 budget (not including marketing), it’s going to be an uphill battle. And as The Mummy has already proven, even a big overseas haul isn’t always enough to help a film survive.