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Weekend Box Office: Robots in decline

Transformers: The Last Knight (Photo: Paramount)
Transformers: The Last Knight (Photo: Paramount)

Not that it’ll have any bearing on the future of the franchise—whose writers’ room is currently working on a solid decade’s worth of sequels—but it does seem that America is suffering from Transformers fatigue. That’s a relative statement, of course: Transformers: The Last Knight still came in at No. 1 at the domestic box office, albeit with a weaker opening than any other film in the franchise at $69 million. (Yep, that’s a franchise low, which goes a long way towards explaining why these things keep coming out.) That puts extra pressure on the film to perform in foreign markets; if it doesn’t, Transformers 8 might set a new record for biggest-budget VOD release of all time.

The No. 2 film, Cars 3, split the difference between the sentient mechanics of The Last Knight and the feminist message of the No. 3 film, Wonder Woman. That film set a record last week for the biggest box-office haul for a live-action film directed by a woman; over the weekend, it set another record as the highest-grossing film so far in the DC Expanded Universe. If bringing Joss Whedon on board after Zack Snyder was sidelined by family tragedy doesn’t change the tone of Justice League, maybe Wonder Woman’s excellent numbers will. The film has also shown remarkable staying power, dropping only 39 percent in its fourth weekend in release.

The No. 4 movie, shark-attack thriller 47 Meters Down, also held on quite well in its second weekend, clinging to the side of its life raft with only a 33 percent drop in revenue and a 201-theater expansion. Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me was less lucky, falling a steep 77.9 percent to No. 5 and beating Universal’s disastrous franchise-launcher The Mummy by only $14,000 at the box office. In a real race to the bottom, that film was followed by the similarly critically maligned Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which pulled in $5.2 million worth of booty in its fifth week at the box office for a No. 7 spot.

Further down the charts, this week’s limited-release winner was the charming romantic comedy The Big Sick, with each of its five screens racking up an impressive average of $87,000 apiece. Sofia Coppola’s pulpy Civil War drama The Beguiled also did well, making $240,545 on only four screens; Coppola’s fellow female auteur Ana Lily Amirpour had a less profitable weekend, making only $91,074 despite a relatively hefty 30-screen opening for The Bad Batch. Meanwhile, the prize for longest running film currently on the box-office charts is Turkish cat documentary Kedi, which is several lives deep at No. 36 20 weeks after its American theatrical debut, and more than a month after its debut on streaming service YouTube Red.

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