'Transformers' tops box office but is biggest in China

'Transformers' tops box office but is biggest in Chinaā€¯

The box office performance of Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction, though, offers some hope for The Last Knight. The untitled Bumblee movie, starring Hailee Steinfeld and directed by Travis Knight, starts shooting later this summer and is said to be far cheaper than any of the previous films.

Transformers: The Last Knight officially holds the record for the smallest opening weekend in the franchise thus far. So what went wrong?

Michael Bay has been churning out similar movies with shared themes, plot lines, narratives and elements since the second movie in the series. Its domestic total is now $318.3 million, and it looks like it's only a matter of time before it becomes the highest-grossing installment in the shared universe to date. The blockbuster game has been raised in recent years with the likes of the superhero franchises alongside favorites like Star Wars and Jurassic Park returning, and fewer people want to see Bay's CGI mayhem on the big screen anymore. As has become par for the course for the series, The Last Knight was widely panned by critics, with many people writing it off as being more of the same.

Reviews were generally bad, although the New York Times critic Neil Genzlinger praised Anthony Hopkins's performance, and audience members gave the film an exit score of B+ in CinemaScore exit polls.

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Including its early showings Wednesday and Thursday, "The Last Knight" pulled in $69.1 million through Sunday, according to ComScore.

Future business will tell whether those grosses are enough to cover a hugely expensive movie: $217 million to make, plus almost as much to market. This solidifies the movie as the highest grossing live-action film from a female director and gets it closer to surpassing the domestic total of DCEU competition Man of Steel, which had a larger opening but a sharper drop in later weeks. Paramount may be rethinking those plans for an entire Transformers cinematic universe at this point.

Cars 3 rolled into its sophomore weekend at second place, bringing in an estimated $25 million at the box office. Obviously that will nearly certainly change once the actuals come into play. The movie is now sitting at $99.9 million domestically and $141.3 million worldwide. Internationally, the film is performing better with $273.6 million and its global total is up to $342.1 million.

"The movie was conceived of for a global audience and it performed for a global audience". To finish off its fourth weekend at the box office, Wonder Woman added another $27.5 million to its gross. Amazon plunked down $12 million for the Judd Apatow-produced Sundance Film Festival hit.

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Meanwhile, one of the other big releases last week crashed hard as All Eyez On Me's grosses fell through the floor. The Tupac biopic, which did not generate the best reception upon its release, tumbled 77.9 percent in its second weekend and brought in $5.8 million. It was the only new wide release of the weekend.

In sixth is The Mummy with $5.8 million. Where I'm standing (only days away from the release of Despicable Me 3) it looks like Cars 3 will end up becoming Pixar's 2nd worst performing animation in the United States with $155-160 million. Dead Men Tell No Tales declined by 42% to an estimated $5.2M giving Disney $160M. The animated family film now stands at $65.7 million. It cost $230 million to make. The projected worldwide haul through Sunday is US$196.2 million, powered by US$123.4 million from China. A domestic final of about $390M is possible, but $400M can't be ruled out just yet.

Capping off the top 10 is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. That trend would continue with the last installment, 2014's Transformers: Age of Extinction, which opened with $100 million (40.8% of its domestic total), with $245.4 million domestic and $1.1 billion worldwide, thanks to a whopping $320 million from China alone. Meanwhile, the action thriller Baby Driver, a Sony release directed by acclaimed British helmer Edgar Wright, could be an offbeat hit.

Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates.

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