‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ is stalling at the box office. The fifth entry in Paramount’s toy franchise is the latest victim of franchise fatigue on the part of US audiences, following disappointing returns for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’, ‘Alien: Covenant’ and ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village’ not to mention freshman entries which were expected to kick-start new series, ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’, ‘CHIPS’, ‘Baywatch’ and ‘The Mummy’. (‘The Mummy’ at least will lead to additional movies, as Universal already has more of their shared universe monster movies in the works.) Even with opening extra early on Tuesday for previews, this jalopy will only clear $69.1 million over five days. (On the plus side, it made $123.4M in China, but they get to pocket most of that with Paramount only getting 25% due to a licensing agreement.)
‘Wonder Woman’ continues to kick ass, although it’s down to $26.17M for its fourth weekend. That beats ‘The Dark Knight”s fourth weekend, which amounted to $26.11M. AND ‘Wonder Woman”s domestic take has surpassed $300M. It will soon overtake ‘Suicide Squad’ which made $325.1M in its entire theatrical run and ‘Batman V Superman’ which made $330.3M. ‘Wonder Woman’ will also soon rank as Warner Brothers’ third most successful domestic movie, after ‘The Dark Knight’ ($534.9M) and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ ($448.1M). And though $26.17M isn’t a huge number, it’s impressive for a fourth weekend and equally impressive, it’s still hanging in there at #2.
Yes, that mean’s Disney/Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’ is dropping fast, down from #1 last weekend to #3. But as I said last weekend, the ‘Cars’ brand is a bit more narrow in its appeal, mainly drawing very young kids (and their parents of course). It simply doesn’t have the depth to entice older viewers. It just narrowly got beaten by ‘Wonder Woman’, making $25.175M in its second week, but unlike ‘WW’, it most likely won’t have the same legs or inspire repeat viewings.
Shark thriller ’47 Meters Down’ is hanging in there at #4 with $6.9M. This flick made more money last weekend ($11.7M) but it actually climbed up thanks to the precipitous drop of ‘All Eyez On Me’, the Tupac Shakur biopic which plummeted from #3 to #5, making $5.88M, down 78% from its $27.1M opening. This movie hasn’t gotten anything near the acclaim of 2015’s N.W.A. movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’– ‘All Eyez’ has a miserable 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while ‘Compton’ has a fresh 87%.
Many are pointing to Rotten Tomatoes as playing a larger and larger part in influencing audience decisions as to what to see and maybe they’re right. Even if many people don’t read full reviews, it’s easy to simply click on the site and check out a movie’s freshness/rotten score before shelling out cash for something that’s most likely bad.
- Transformers: The Last Knight (Paramount) – $40.1M (3-day), $63.9M ($5-Day)
- Wonder Woman (Warner Bros.) – $26.1M
- Cars 3 (Disney) – $25.6M
- 47 Meters Down (Entertainment Studios) – $6.9M
- All Eyez On Me (Lionsgate) – $5.88M
In its third weekend, ‘The Mummy’ has already fallen out of the Top Five. It made a paltry $5.8M. Franchise fatigue can be partially to blame, but once again, it’s gotten lousy reviews right out of the gate– reflected by its 15% Rotten Tomatoes score– while others are declaring that the age of movie stars– in this case Tom Cruise– is over. Audiences don’t care about seeing familiar faces. They want quality filmmaking, something that has benefited ‘Wonder Woman’, which was directed by a relatively unknown director, Patty Jenkins with an unproven star, Gal Gadot. Even the bigger marquee name, Chris Pine, has now seen ‘Wonder Woman’ eclipse his previous hits from the ‘Star Trek’ franchise. It’s the finished product that matters, not names and faces.
In indie news, Michael Showalter’s romantic comedy ‘The Big Sick’ opened in exactly five theaters and made $435,000. That translates to $87K per screen… which is the highest per screen average since ‘La La Land’ last year. It will continue to open wider and should be playing everywhere by July 14.
‘Despicable Me 3’ opens next weekend and should take #1… but ‘Cars 3”s weak performance may indicate that the family audience– like most– is wearying of these long-running series. Keep in mind, this franchise also includes the ‘Minions’ movie, so this is technically the fourth. It does have a respectable Rotten Tomatoes rating of 85% fresh, though. That may ensure success and with ‘Transformers” lousy reception, it’s prime (see what I did there?) to drop from the top pretty quickly.
In two weeks comes ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, which is highly anticipated, but… is it just me, or do the trailers for it kind of suck? I mean, I kinda fell in love with Tom Holland as Spider-Man in ‘Civil War’ but that was directed by the Russo brothers. This is by Jon Watts, a director that hasn’t tackled a big budget tentpole… is he up to the task?
Check back to see how things pan out!