It was Miles Morales and the Spider-Verse vs. “Transformers” at the box office this weekend and the robots came out on top.
” Transformers: Rise of the Beasts“, the series’ seventh installment, took the No. 1 spot in its first weekend in North American theaters with an estimated $60.5 million by studio estimates on Sunday.” Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse was not far behind, however, with an estimate of $55.4 million for its second weekend.
Paramount Pictures has streamed “Rise of the Beasts” to 3,678 locations, beginning with previews Thursday. Set in 1994, it’s technically a sequel to the 1980s film “Bumblebee” and a prequel to the other films. With a new cast led by Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback and a new director in the person of Steven Caple Jr., it’s also an attempt to reset and breathe new life into the $4.8 billion franchise.
“Rise of the Beasts” also grossed $110 million in 68 international markets, giving it a world premiere of $170.5 million.
Critics didn’t like the film, but so did this franchise. Overall, Rotten Tomatoes scored 52% less than fresh.
“The problem with ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ is the same problem that all episodes face: balancing humanity with metal,” wrote AP’s Mark Kennedy in his review.
In fact, the only movie to earn a new rating was “Bumblebee,” which also made the least money of them all. Audiences (62% male) were more positive, giving “Rise of the Beasts” an A-CinemaScore. According to PostTrak surveys, the general public gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Even though a $60.5 million opening might not seem like enough to sustain a $200 million production budget, “Rise of the Beasts” is a film that will earn most of its money overseas. Since “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” in 2011, international ticket sales have accounted for at least 70% of the total worldwide box office. Two of the seven movies, “Dark of the Moon” and “Age of Extinction,” released in 2014, grossed over $1 billion each.
“Making a No. 1 debut is impressive given the tremendous competition from ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ which had a much stronger opening than expected and, in its second weekend, is a really powerful player,” said Paul. Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
Sony’s ‘Spider-Verse’ sequel fell about 54%. In just two weeks, it has already surpassed the first film’s total domestic box office with $225.4 million in ticket sales and became Sony Pictures Animation’s highest-grossing release. With great reviews in its arsenal, “Spider-Verse” is likely destined for a longer life at the box office as well.
Third place went to Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” which grossed $23 million in its third weekend and is playing in 4,320 theaters in the United States and Canada. The live-action movie has grossed $414.2 million worldwide to date.
Two other Walt Disney Co. releases rounded out the top five, with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” in fourth place with $7 million in its sixth weekend and “The Boogeyman” in second weekend in fifth place with $6.9 million.
While most top 10 movies are well-known trademarks or intellectual property rights, original property, “A24” Past livesis making waves in the field of specialties. Airing on just 26 screens in its second weekend, Celine Song’s romance grossed $520,772, a staggering average of $20,030 per screen. It expands nationwide on June 23.
THE summer movie season should continue to pick up steam with major new movies arriving almost every week. Next weekend, family audiences can experience Pixar’s “Elemental,” while the superhero crowd can catch up with ” the flash.”
Estimated Friday-Sunday ticket sales at US and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final national figures will be released on Monday.
1. “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” $60.5 million.
2. “Spider-Man: Through the Spider-Verse,” $55.4 million.
3. “The Little Mermaid,” $22.3 million.
4. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”, 7 million dollars.
5. “The Boogeyman,” $6.9 million.
6. “Fast X”, $5.2 million.
7. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” “, 2.1 million dollars.
8. “About my father”, $845,000.
9. “The Machine”, $575,000.
10. “Past Lives,” $520,772.
Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.