'Transformers' tops US box office but is biggest in China

Transformers: The Last Knight scored a franchise-low debut but still easily topped the United States box office with an estimated 43.5 million USA dollars (£33.9 million) in ticket sales over the weekend. That includes a Friday-Sunday take of $45.3 million.

Whether audiences have had enough with the incessant CGI explosions of director Michael Bay (who has helmed all the movies up to this point) or their long running times with little attention to storyline, "The Last Knight" looks like everyone's breaking point. All previous "Transformers" sequels opened with $97 million-plus.

It's not all bad news for The Last Knight though, as the film did pull in a further $196.2 million from global markets, including a hefty $123.4 million from China. Yeager teams up with beloved Autobot BumbleBee and Anthony Hopkins' Sir Edmund Burton, an old English historian who knows about the history of Transformers on Earth, which they will need to explore if they are to find peace. The last movie, which was a then domestic low at $245.4M, grossed $1.1 billion worldwide and minted a $250M profit after all post-theatrical streams were counted. While the latest "Transformers" movie has been advertised as "the final chapter" and Bay's last go-around, the franchise will continue - Paramount has at least two more movies slated, including a spinoff that could star Hailee Steinfeld. Please let this be the last one, if it isn't the last one hopefully it's Michael Bay's last, let a director who actually cares about the source material have a crack.

Ahead of the weekend, the film has an audience rating of about 62 percent. To cap it all off, you've got the traitorous Leonard Nimoy-bot attempting to usher in the apocalypse from Trump Tower in Chicago - in 2017, no other "Transformers" movie feels that correct. But - surprise - the fifth "Transformers" movie, "The Last Knight", is far from the worst in this continuing experiment in noisy nonsense based on Hasbro toys.

At number two, and continuing its domestic rise to the top, is Wonder Woman with $26.1 million, only falling 39% from last weekend. The superhero tentpole earned an impressive $25.2 million to cross $300 million domestically. This weekend, it should earn an additional $25.2 million, bringing its domestic total to $318.4 million.

The Disney-Pixar animated movie is expected to pull in about $29 million at the US box office this weekend and take second place.

Rounding out the top five will be the Tupac Shakur biopic "All Eyez on Me" and Tom Cruise actioner "The Mummy" which is set to make an additional $9.25 million and $7.26 million respectively. Focus Features' The Beguiled remake also opened strong with $240,545 from four theaters for a $60,136, Vertical Entertainment's Alien Arrival, which will debut alongside Neon's The Bad Batch, Indican's A Beginner's Guide to Snuff, while Neon's The Bad Batch opened with $91,074 from 30 theaters for a middling $3,036 per-screen average and the Abramorama documentary Food Evolution earned $3,311 from one theater. Amazon plunked down $12 million for the Judd Apatow-produced Sundance Film Festival hit.

  • Marlene Weaver