Box Office: 'Transformers: The Last Knight' Looks Overseas as it Eyes Unremarkable $70 Million Opening

 variety.com  6/20/2017 6:16:00 PM   Seth Kelley News Editor, Online @SethMKelley
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

“Transformers” might wish it were in better shape.

Heading into the weekend, Paramount and Hasbro’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” looks to be the latest blockbuster to bank on overseas earnings. From domestic screens, it’s tracking to earn about $70 million during its five-day opening, which is the lowest opening for a “Transformers” movie since the 2007 film kicked off the modern franchise with $70.5 million. The reported production budget for this latest installment was $217 million.

The last “Transformers” movie, 2014’s “Age of Extinction,” opened with $100 million in North America. The four previous installments have accounted for over $1.3 billion domestically and over $3.7 billion globally.

“The Last Knight” could shape up similarly to “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” which opened to $63 million, or the lowest domestic opening for a “Pirates” movie since 2003’s “Curse of the Black Pearl.” Over $500 million so far in international grosses have saved “Dead Men Tell No Tales.” “The Last Knight” should hope for the same. Paramount also touts the “Transformer” franchise’s historically solid multiples — past films have made three to four times their domestic openings by the end of their runs.

The movie, which focuses on a war between humans and Transformers, will launch on Tuesday in 546 locations in the U.S. at 7 p.m. local time in 3D Imax and RealD large format showings, before it expands to 3,000 an hour later. By Wednesday, it will be shown in all 3,800 spots.

Overseas, “The Last Knight” will open in 42 markets on Friday. That’s 80% of the film’s foreign footprint, including China, the U.K., Russia, and Korea. The rest of the international rollout will begin later in June through early August.

Michael Bay returns to direct the fifth “Transformers” movie since 2007 from a script written by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, and Ken Nolan. Those three plus Akiva Goldsman have story credits. The cast is led by Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Jerrod Carmichael, Isabela Moner, and Santiago Cabrera. Reviews for the film will not be released until later on Tuesday.

“The Last Knight” will go mostly uncontested at the box office this weekend. The only other movies opening are indies, including Sofia Coppola’s remake of “The Beguiled” and Kumail Nanjiani’s Sundance breakout “The Big Sick.”

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