The summer movie season is in full bloom and this past weekend showcased in bold print some of the 2017’s biggest winners and losers. Transformers: The Last Knight, the fifth entry of Michael Bay’s CGI-gone-amok franchise mainstay, topped the box office with an estimated $45 million earned over the weekend and an estimated take $69 million earned since the picture opened this past Wednesday. It was enough for a number one finish, but the gross is far below the takes of the previous four Transformers entries, indicting – just as Paramount is mounting spin-offs for its most successful franchise – that audience fatigue (check out our review) has begun to settle in.
Outside of Decepticons and Bumblebees, the major Hollywood studio offerings continued at an expected click – Pixar’s Cars 3 is fast approaching the $100 million mark domestically in its second weekend of release (noticeably at a lower turnout that previous Pixar entries), Tupac bio All Eyez on Me (which opened strongly last weekend) came tumbling to Earth in its second weekend with a 77% stumble (the film has earned $38 million to date), franchise hopeful The Mummy and franchise continuer Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales lugged along while Wonder Woman continued its “wondrous” take.
The Patty Jenkins-directed DC Comics adaptation – which stars Gal Gadot in the title role – took in $25 million in its fourth weekend of the release, minting nearly $318 million at the North American box office alone. Soon enough, the film will outstrip all previous DC Comics universe films (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad) and holds the mantle for the highest grossing film directed by a female director. Also, Wonder Woman set an in-house record for distributor Warner Bros., setting the highest grossing fourth weekend of all time for the studio.
The “big” news, however, was in the art-house realm as openers The Big Sick (our review) and The Beguiled (our review) both opened strongly in otherwise fairly pedestrian summer weekend. The Big Sick, Michael Showalter’s romantic comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan – which was snapped up by Amazon Studios after its crowd-pleasing debut at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival – lit up screens with $435,000 earned from five theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Word of mouth and positive reviews propelled the title to a $87,000 per-screen average, the highest achieved for any title in 2017 thus far. As the film expands, it may in the end turn into the sleeper hit of the summer.
Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled – an all-star Civil War-set film starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell and Kirsten Dunst – charmed in four LA/NY theaters as well, earning $240,000 and reaping a per-theater take of $60,000 (the second best average of 2017). The film has been greeted with strong reviews – as well as Coppola’s historic Best Director win following its premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival – and looks to provide a solid art-house run for distributor Focus Features.