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There’s good news and there’s bad news when it comes to the opening night numbers of Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, meaning many tracking the success of the film will have a few reasons to celebrate… and a few reasons to wring their hands in worry.
Michael Bay’s sequel, the fourth Transformers movie in the blockbuster franchise, tallied $8.8 million in Thursday evening screenings, and an additional, estimated $41.6 million on Friday. These numbers have been posted by BoxOfficeMojo, which will also tell you that it’s the highest-earning day of the U.S. calendar, beating May 16, when Godzilla earned $38.4 million in one day. This bodes well for Transformers: Age of Extinction, which multiple box-office sites are predicting could be the first movie this year to enjoy a $100-million-plus opening weekend.
Reason to celebrate, no? Here’s where things start to get cloudy.
Even if it manages to sneak across the $100-million mark in its debut weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction already is starting slightly slower than its three metallic, bombastic predecessors. While direct comparisons are extremely difficult given the fact that all of the Transformers movies opened on different weekdays (all around the Fourth of July holiday), the highest-grossing number belongs to the second film -- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen -- which banked $62 million on its opening day back in 2009. Numbers are in flux on the Transformers films, however, as they usually had four- and five-day weekends padding their box-office figures. Either way, they usually make a lot of bank.
Paramount, as I’m sure you understand, was hoping for a big boost on Transformers: Age of Extinction, infusing the sequel with new human characters played by Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci and Kelsey Grammer. But with Michael Bay still at the helm, the confusion (and punishing duration) have led to poor reviews. The movie has a 13% Fresh grade on RT at the moment, which could hurt the film’s momentum as the weekend continues.
Of course, Transformers: Age of Extinction wants to tap into a much larger global market, so overall international numbers will be worth tracking as the movie rolls out. Plans beyond this Transformers movie involved the start of a new trilogy, with Transformers 5 allegedly scheduled for a 2016 release date. The numbers this weekend (and beyond) will determine the future of the robotic franchise. Did you see Age of Extinction? And do you want to see more Transformers movies? Let us know.