At the franchise’s height, the second “Transformers” film opened to $109 million in the U.S. ahead of a $402 million domestic and $836 million total box-office haul. By last year’s fifth film, it had sunk to a $44 million opening and a woeful $130 million domestic take, but overseas saved it in part with the ultimate global tally coming in at $605 million.
This year sees the spin-off film “Bumblebee” hit cinemas at Christmas, a spin-off that boasts a more impressive creative pedigree than its predecessors. Unfortunately very early tracking figures suggest audience apathy for the franchise is here to stay with Box-Office Pro reporting that according to long-range forecasts, the film is only expected to bring in $15-25 million on opening weekend.
In fact, it’s expected to open in third place behind both “Aquaman” and “Mary Poppins Returns” which are expected to take in between $40-60 million and $30-50 million respectively in that week before Christmas. The number is similar to the $22 million being estimated for the animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” opening less than a week before.
In recent times the site’s long-range tracking estimates have proven to be fairly good, though usually on the softer side of estimates with the final result for films like “Venom,” “The Nun” and “Halloween” coming in about 15% higher than the early estimates. Going into the holiday, the “Fantastic Beasts” sequel, “The Grinch” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet” are expected to dominate with all scoring openings in the $50-75 million range.