Box Office: ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’ Aims for $60 Million Debut, Battles ‘Spider-Verse’ for No. 1

“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” is readying to turbocharge the box office, targeting $50 million to $60 million in its opening weekend.

There’s a chance that inaugural ticket sales could climb higher as the Paramount Pictures film touches down on Friday in 3,700 North American theaters. But the latest Autobot adventure is expected to face headwinds from last weekend’s champion, Sony’s “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.” The animated comic book sequel launched to $120 million and looks to add $45 million to $55 million in its second weekend of release. That’s close to double what the original, 2019’s “Into the Spider-Verse,” earned in its debut. Yep, Spidey’s still got it.

Steven Caple Jr. (“Creed II”) directed the PG-13 rated “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,” which cost $200 million. It’ll need to keep playing in domestic theaters and resonate at the international box office to justify that hefty price tag.

On a promising note, the film, which is the seventh installment in the “Transformers” franchise, is expected to improve upon the starts of the two entries, 2018’s “Bumblebee” ($21.6 million) and 2017’s “The Last Knight” ($44.68 million). Those films, which tapped out with $127 million and $130 million in North America respectively, each earned nearly 70% of their overall ticket sales from overseas markets.

At the height of the franchise’s popularity, “Transformers” installments were bypassing the $1 billion mark with ease, but that hasn’t happened since 2014’s “Age of Extinction” ($1.104 billion). “Bumblebee” (which was slightly less expensive at $135 million) fell short of $500 million while “The Last Knight” ended its run with $605 million. Analysts expect the newest entry to land in-between its most recent predecessors, as long as international interest in the series is sustained.

“Rise of the Beasts” features “In the Heights” star Anthony Ramos and “Swarm” actor Dominique Fishback in a story about Optimus Prime and the Autobots as they attempt to take out a threat that’s capable of destroying the entire planet. Reviews are skewing toward negative, with Variety’s Owen Gleiberman offering one of the more positive takes on the film.

“It’s got a relatable human story that works, and thanks to a script that actually has sustained bursts of dialogue, the robots felt more real to me as characters than they usually do,” he wrote.

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