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The noise of clanging metal is set to drown out everything else in theaters this weekend, but not if a certain friendly neighborhood superhero has anything to say about it. Paramount’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts won the Friday box office with a $25 million debut, including $8 million from Thursday previews, setting it up for a closely-contested clash with holdover hit Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse for the top spot this weekend.
The seventh installment in the blockbuster franchise, which has witnessed several ups and downs after debuting in 2007, Rise of the Beasts is expected to start a new trilogy of Transformers movies for Paramount. On its first day alone, the movie has surpassed the opening weekend haul of its predecessor, 2018’s Bumblebee, which ended up grossing $127 million domestically and $465 million worldwide — the lowest hauls in the franchise’s history, despite delivering the best reviews.
Rise of the Beasts, starring Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback, is currently projected to deliver a $60 opening weekend, which marks an improvement over Transformers: The Last Knight’s $44 million opening in 2017. By comparison, the first film of the franchise — 2007’s Transformers — grossed $70 million in its opening weekend. The high benchmark for the franchise remains Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’s $200 million five-day debut in 2009, followed by the $100 million that Transformers: Age of Extinction grossed in its debut weekend in 2014. Each of the first five films in the franchise was directed by Michael Bay, to noticeably diminishing returns both domestically and internationally. Travis Knight brought some much-needed heart to the series with Bumblebee, setting director Steven Caple Jr. up for success with Rise of the Beasts.
The movie has received mixed reviews from critics — a difficult-to-ignore drop from the warm reception that Bumblebee was greeted with, but a significant improvement over Bay’s sequels. The first Transformers, however, is now old enough to qualify as nostalgia for the fans that grew up watching these movies. Collider’s own Ross Bonaime wrote that Rise of the Beasts “feels like both a step forward and a step back” in his review, and opening day audiences awarded the movie a solid A- CinemaScore, which bodes well for its future.
Across the Spider-Verse added $16 million on its second Friday, and is on track to deliver a $58 million sophomore weekend. This sets up an interesting race for number one this weekend, and even a slight deviation from projections could end with a different movie taking pole position. Across the Spider-Verse vastly exceeded expectations in its debut weekend, grossing a spectacular $120 million. By Sunday, the movie is projected to hit $226 million at the domestic box office. The third spot went to Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which is swimming along domestically, even as it gasps for air overseas. The live-action remake added $6 million on Friday, and is expected to deliver a $24 million weekend, for a running domestic haul of $230 million.
The Top Five Was Dominated by Holdovers
Taking the fourth spot after debuting at number three last weekend, the horror title The Boogeyman added $2.1 million on Friday, taking its running domestic total to $20 million. Originally destined for streaming, the movie hasn’t been able to perform at the level of other recent horror hits — Evil Dead Rise and Smile, to name a couple — that were also diverted to theaters following positive test screenings. The top five was rounded out by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which added $2 million on Friday, taking its running domestic total to $330 million. The movie will pass the first Guardians of the Galaxy’s lifetime domestic haul of $333 million this weekend, after overtaking it globally some days ago. Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is all but guaranteed to finish its theatrical run with more than $800 million, which has to be a happy result for Disney and Marvel. You can watch our interview with Rise of the Beasts director Caple Jr. here, and stay tuned to Collider for more box office updates over the weekend.
In conclusion, the film “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” has made an impressive debut at the domestic box office. With its captivating storyline, stunning visual effects, and beloved characters, the movie has managed to strike a chord with both longtime fans and new audiences. The success of the film is a testament to the enduring popularity of the Transformers franchise and the skillful execution of this latest installment. As the box office numbers continue to rise, it is clear that “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” has once again proven itself to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of blockbuster cinema.
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