June 27, 2014

THURSDAY NIGHT BOX OFFICE: “Transformers” Not So Massive At $8.75M


If Thursday night ticket sales are any guide, TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount) may not have the weekend opening that will change the face of this so-so box office summer, as many had hoped and even expected.  With shows starting at 9PM, including IMAX, Transformers 4 took in $8.75M.  That’s better than X-Men: Days of Future Past ($8.1M) and–barely–The Amazing Spider-Man ($8.7M), but below Godzilla ($9.3M) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($10.2M).  These aren’t precisely apples to apples, since Thursday start times ranted from 7PM to 10PM, but none of those spectacles reached a $100M 3-day weekend (Captain America came closest at $95M), and now it appears that Transformers won’t either.

Also not quite apple-to-apple is any comparison of Extinction with the earlier Transformers installments, because they all opened on different days of the week (following, rather than on, the last weekend in June).  The most recent of the franchise, 2011’s Dark of the Moon, started with $13.5M ($5.5M from Tuesday night shows and $8M at midnight), which again leans toward the idea that Extinction won’t be quite as big as hoped.(Dark of the Moon ended up with $352.3M in the US.)

Two important points.  First, as noted above, this Transformers will have an entire week under its belt before the July 4th weekend even begins, and the other studios are offering very limited competition next weekend (the Melissa McCarthy comedy Tammy is the closest to a big gun), so Extinction will go virtually unchallenged for 2 full weeks, giving it plenty of chance to make up for a slow-ish start.

Also, the US will be just a small part of Transformers‘ overall box office picture.  The blockbuster is opening in 36 territories this weekend, including China (in all, about 60% of the world–not quite the typical worldwide release because of the World Cup), and through Thursday, in just 22 of those territories, it’s taken in $30M.

All that being said, Paramount was undoubtedly hoping for more.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."