Paramount/Skydance’s “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is in a tight race with Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” for No. 1 at the box office, with both films expected to earn over $55 million domestically this weekend.
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” currently has a slight edge, topping “Spider-Verse” on Friday with a $25.6 million opening day from 3,678 theaters. Some industry estimates are predicting a $58 million opening, while Paramount is predicting a $60 million launch. Either result would beat pre-release projections for a $50-55 million start.
With a reported $200 million production budget before marketing, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” will need robust international turnout on top of these domestic results. But the film has won over hardcore fans of the Autobots with an A- on CinemaScore and a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 90%. “Transformers” needs that audience buzz to keep rolling out because it will get significant competition from Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” next weekend.
While some industry estimates are predicting a second No. 1 weekend for “Across the Spider-Verse,” Sony is staying conservative in its studio estimates with a second weekend total of $56 million, which would put it at No. 2. That’s still a respectable 54% drop from the animated sequel’s $120.6 million opening made despite the loss of premium format screens, showing the strength of the film’s word of mouth among audiences.
After just nine days in U.S. theaters, “Across the Spider-Verse” will have passed the $190 million domestic run of its predecessor “Into the Spider-Verse” and is on track to become the highest grossing film ever in the history of Sony Pictures Animation.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” is in third with an industry estimated $23.6 million third weekend, keeping it on a strong pace domestically with $223 million grossed so far. “The Little Mermaid” has performed similarly to past Disney remakes in the U.S. but has struggled overseas as it is just now passing $350 million in global grosses against a reported $250 million production budget.