Hollywood Rethinks Key Movie Franchises Amid a Mixed Summer at the Box Office

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Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The fifth installment, The Last Knight, opened to a series low ($69.1 million in its domestic debut over the Fourth of July holiday weekend). While it has seen more action abroad for an international gross of $392.4 million, it is still expected to be the lowest-grossing entry in the Transformers franchise to date, and has only earned $517.3 million worldwide in four weeks.

Now, Paramount is cutting costs. Its Bumblebee spin-off is pegged at $70 million-plus (according to sources), compared to Last Knight‘s $217 million.

A younger cast, headed by Hailee Steinfeld, 20, will be directed by Travis Knight when filming starts in August. The story, centered on the yellow bot, will be set in 1987.

“We are trying to please the fans and also give them a new experience,” says producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “Plus, there’s a new audience introduced to the franchise every 10 years, and we have an obligation to that new audience.”

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