Weekend Box Office (June 23 - 25, 2017)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND As many industry observers know, China is a major reason why many aging action movie franchises get to age a little longer. One of those properties gets a new installment this weekend as Michael Bay directs his fifth Autobot flick with Transformers: The Last Knight which hit theaters on Wednesday. The last chapter, 2014's Age of Extinction, grossed $245.4M in North America but powered its way to $320M in China becoming the all-time biggest U.S. blockbuster there at the time.

Now another film has arrived and it is not hard to predict that domestic grosses will reach new franchise lows as Paramount looks to thriving foreign markets to make up the rest. Extinction grossed 78% of its $1.1 billion global tally from international markets and Knight should raise that share to 80% or more, even though the total sack of cash will shrink.

Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, and Tyrese Gibson star in this PG-13 testosterone flick. Reviews have been understandably brutal. But critics matter little here as there is no potential from newcomers. Those who saw the past films are the only ones in the mix here and they will come out if they are excited by the brand, the action, and the battle scenes. Nobody is expecting a brilliant story.

Wednesday kicked off with a disappointing $15.7M including $5.5M from Tuesday night pre-shows. That is by far the lowest opening day for the series. Thursday will drop sharply and Knight may bank about $24M by the start of the Friday-to-Sunday weekend period. Much of the crowd will wait for the weekend before coming out but daily grosses over those three days could end up being just over $10M a piece. Playing in 4,069 locations including 3D and IMAX options, Transformers: The Last Knight could open to about $37M this weekend and $62M across the five-day debut period.

Pixar hopes to go from first to second this weekend with Cars 3 which may decline by about 45%. That would put Disney at about $29M for the session bumping the cume up to $107M.

The arrival of Transformers brings new big-budget action competition for Wonder Woman. But Optimus Prime is showing far less muscle this time so Diana may not take too much of a hit, especially since buzz is so strong out there. The weekend take may slide by 35% to about $26M pushing the cume up to $315M giving 2017 its third member of the triple century club after Belle and Star-Lord.

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Watch the trailer for Black Panther.

LAST YEAR Still commanding the top spot in its second frame was the Pixar giant Finding Dory which fell only 46% to $73M, a terrific hold for a sequel coming off of a giant debut. A sequel not embraced by movie fans was Independence Day: Resurgence which bowed to $41M going to a $103.1M finish for Fox. Central Intelligence took third with $18.2M. The Sony thriller The Shallows did well with a $16.8M launch going to a $55.1M final. The Conjuring 2 rounded out the top five with $7.7M.


Last Updated: June 22, 2017 at 5:35PM ET

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