It looks like Paramount/Skydance’s “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” will stave off a challenge from Sony Animation’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” for the top box office spot, earning a $60.5 million opening weekend from 3,678 theaters.
Comparisons to recent “Transformers” installments aren’t exact, as “Transformers: The Last Knight” opened on a Wednesday and took in a $68.4 million 5-day opening with $44.6 million earned between Friday and Sunday. Globally, the film has earned a $170.5 million launch compared to $267 million for “The Last Knight,” a drop that can be largely attributed to China, where “Rise of the Beasts” opened to just $40 million compared to $125 million for “Last Knight,” continuing the trend of declining interest in Hollywood films among Chinese audiences.
But “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is beating pre-release projections of a $50-55 million domestic opening, and insiders at Paramount say the studio sees these numbers as a good start as it relaunches a franchise that was once the top dog at the box office. The film was also able to beat projections in spite of the wildfires that have engulfed Canada and the northeastern U.S., curtailing moviegoing turnout in those parts of North America.
Audience reception among “Transformers” fans has been positive with an A- on CinemaScore — an improvement from the B+ for “Last Knight” — along with an 83% positive rating on PostTrak and 91% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” will need that audience buzz as it faces competition from Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” next weekend.
“Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” is in second with a $55.4 million second weekend, dropping 54% from its $120.6 million opening weekend. The animated sequel has already passed the entire $375 million global run of its 2018 predecessor “Into the Spider-Verse,” with $225 million grossed after 10 days. That’s enough to already make it Sony Pictures Animation’s top grossing film in North America.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is in third with $22.8 million grossed in its third weekend. The live-action/CGI remake continues its trend of strong domestic returns and weak overseas performance with a running total of $228.2 million domestic and $414.2 million worldwide against a $250 million production budget before marketing.
Two other Disney releases complete the Top 5 with Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” taking $7 million in its sixth weekend and 20th Century Studios’ “The Boogeyman” taking $6.9 million in its second weekend. “Guardians Vol. 3” has now passed $800 million worldwide with a running total of $335.4 million domestic and $805.9 million global, while “The Boogeyman” has a $24.7 million domestic and $39.6 million worldwide total against a $35 million production budget.
Outside the Top 5, Universal’s “Fast X” has crossed the $650 million global mark with $5.2 million in its fourth weekend along with $20.5 million internationally, giving it a $652 million worldwide total. Illumination’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” now has a global total of $1.31 billion, passing the global run of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” to become the third highest grossing movie ever for Universal behind only the first “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7,” both of which were released in 2015.