BO Report: The latest ‘Transformers’ again shows a tiring with franchises

26 June, 2017 by Don Groves

'Transformers: The Last Knight'. 


Moviegoers in Australia and internationally increasingly are showing signs of fatigue with the never-ending procession of Hollywood franchises.

The latest examples: The underwhelming debuts of the fifth film in the Transformers series and the third edition of Cars.

That coupled with the fast-sinking Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and The Mummy reboot indicates studios should spend more money on original content and less on tiring franchises.

The top 20 titles collectively minted $17 million last weekend, down 5 per cent on the previous frame, according to Numero. 

Of the new independent releases, A Quiet Passion and Hindi drama Tubelight registered well while Una was OK and McLaren tanked.

Paramount’s Transformers: The Last Knight rang up $4.46 million from 285 locations and $4.7 million with previews. That’s way down on the $8.8 million debut of Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014, which finished up with $26.9 million.

Michael Bay’s bombastic action-adventure starring Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock and Anthony Hopkins collected $US69.1 million in five days in the US, the lowest opening in the series.

Before shooting started, Bay insisted this is the last time he’d helm a film in the billion dollar franchise that started in 2007 and thereafter he would hand the reins to someone else. The question for Paramount:  Is it worth rolling the dice on Transformers 6?

Universal/Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 3 fetched $3.5 million in its second weekend at 293 cinemas, dropping by 40 per cent. The family comedy voiced by Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker has earned a merry $10.3 million.

Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 launched with $2.2 million on 275 and $2.6 million with previews, a respectable start before school holidays but well down on Cars 2’s $4.9 million debut in 2011.

Warner Bros’ superhit Wonder Woman fell by 35 per cent to $2.1 million in its fourth weekend on 274, propelling its total to $23.6 million.

Sony’s Rough Night is having a rough time, taking $899,000 in its second weekend on 241, off 43 per cent.  The black comedy starring Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz and Ilana Glazer has banked $3.47 million.

Lionsgate/Roadshow’s All Eyez on Me began brightly but is fading fast, plunging by 61 per cent to $683,000 in its second weekend on 169. The Tupac Shakur biopic has whistled up $2.8 million.

Paramount’s The Mummy reached $9.1 million after unearthing $676,000 in its third frame on 254, down 59 per cent.

Stablemate Baywatch, the Seth Gordon-directed caper inspired by the TV series, drummed up $401,000 in its fourth outing on 202, dropping by 56 per cent as its total topped $9.1 million.

Salman Khan fans flocked to Tubelight, director Kabir Khan’s drama set during the 1962 Sino-Indian war, ringing up $307,000 on 42 screens for distributor Mind Blowing Films.

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales clung to 10th spot, digging up $229,000 in its fifth voyage on 139, down 64 per cent, for a total of $13.9 million.

Released by Palace, Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion, which stars Cynthia Nixon as reclusive poet Emily Dickinson, conjured up $139,000 on 20 screens and $218,000 with sneaks.

Transmission’s McLaren, a feature documentary of the late New Zealand Formula One champion Bruce McLaren directed by Roger Donaldson, barely got out of the starting gates, taking $106,000 on limited release on 99 screens including the Sydney Film Festival screenings.

Madman’s Una, Aussie theatre director Benedict Andrews’ film debut based on Scottish playwright David Harrower’s play, stars Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn. Considering the drama deals with a tough subject – sexual abuse – the $79,000 debut on 17 screens and $159,000 with advance screenings wasn’t bad.