At $198 million and slowing dramatically, the last Michael Bay-directed installment in the robot franchise won’t come close to matching its predecessor’s big $330 million China total in 2014.
Transformers: The Last Knight continued its precipitous decline at the Chinese box office over the weekend, earning just $30.5 million from Friday to Sunday, a 75 percent slide compared to its $121 million opening.
The stunning decline is a disappointment to both Paramount and the three Chinese companies (Wanda Film, Huahua Media and ticketing service Weying) that took equity stakes in the film and partnered on its marketing and promotion in the Middle Kingdom. Expectations had been enormous for the fifth installment in the Michael Bay-directed franchise, with some local analysts pegging their prerelease forecasts as high as $400 million.
After 10 days, Transformers 5 has earned $198 million in the Middle Kingdom, which is still nearly double its $102.1 million North American haul, according to Beijing-based box-office tracker Ent Group. But The Last Knight will be lucky to reach $250 million and won’t come close to touching Transformers: Age of Extinction’s historic $330 million performance back in 2014 (Age of Extinction declined just 47 percent from its first to second weekend that year).
Local sci-fi thriller Reset, produced by Jacki Chan’s Sparkle Roll Media and directed by South Korean filmmaker Yoon Hong-seung (aka Chang), opened Thursday and took second place for the weekend, earning $17.4 million in its first four days.
Universal’s Despicable Me 3 will be the next U.S. studio title to hit the China market when it opens Friday.