It looks like audiences - or Western ones, at least - may finally be tiring of the Transformers franchise, with the latest instalment Transformers: The Last Knight debuting to a series low at the USA box office, grossing a $69.1 million five-day opening, and just $45.3 million across the Friday to Sunday period.
The director, for his part, has previously claimed he was set to walk away from the Transformers series, before returning to make another movie. 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.
Transformers: The Last Knight won its first box office weekend with an estimated $45.3 million. The Patty Jenkins-directed movie sees a 39 percent drop in what is its fourth weekend at the box office and has become the highest-grossing live-action film directed by a woman thanks to its domestic earning of $318 million and worldwide total of $652.9 million.
These factors, plus some stiff competition from the likes of Wonder Woman and Cars 3, shoot the film down to the lowest spot thus far in the franchise, a big problem for the hit-starved Paramount, who recently suffered losses with Baywatch and Ghost in the Shell.
The Lionsgate drama "All Eyez on Me" slipped to fifth-place on the domestic charts, only grossing $5.8M in the film's second-week in theaters. If the overseas grosses perk up (which is possible, considering Johansson's name value), this could avoid being a big loss at a $20 million budget (plus marketing), but in the U.S. it won't get much above $25 million to $30 million. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" (2011) grossed $41.4 million on its Wednesday launch, and "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" opened with $73.5 million.
Note: Numbers include Sunday estimates and are three-day estimates.
Speaking of troubled franchises, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales came in next with $5.2 million in its fifth weekend, off 42%.
20th Century Fox's Alien Covenant was lightyears behind in second place with just $2.2 million for the weekend. The Last Knight also features a teenage girl called Izabella, played by rising American star Isabela Moner, who is feisty and better than all her male friends when it comes to kicking butt. The culture clash romantic comedy, based on the real-life story of the film's star Kumail Nanjiani and co-writer, opens in NY and Los Angeles before going wide in the coming weeks.