Friday, April 12, 2024

Box Office: “Transformers 5” Running $50 Mil Behind Last One, Charming Indie “Big Sick” Scores a Record


The box office is lopsided. “Transformers: The Last Knight” is running $50 million behind “T4” from 2014. Basically, it’s a bust, and it joins so many other disasters of the season. Yes. you can still eke out ticket sales in foreign countries. But in America, not so much.

“The Last Knight” had a five day take of around $69 million. The previous installment had $125 mil in the till by its fifth day. By next weekend, “The Last Knight”  will be a distant, dark memory.

On the other hand: comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s “The Big Sick” is a breakout indie. What a lovely, charming, funny, and sometimes sad film. They scored a whopping $435,000 in three days in just 5 theaters. Five theaters.

I’m sure you know by now that “The Big Sick” is based on Nanjiani’s romance with his now wife, Rebecca (played in the movie with unerring grace and laughs by the remarkable Zoe Kazan). Holly Hunter and Ray Romano play Kazan’s parents. I dare say Hunter just kills it. Look for her to see awards action. Romano is no chopped liver, either.

Also good news: Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” was a hit in limited release, too. Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst pulled in $240,545 over three days in four theaters. So nice thzt we have “The Beguiled” and “The Big Sick” simultaneously. It’s like the old days of great indie filmmaking– smart, entertaining films made for smart people.

Not to say the studios are bereft. Warners is riding high with “Wonder Woman.” Fox is coming in strong with “War of the Planet of the Apes.” And now I’ve seen “Spider -Man Homecoming.” Sony/Columbia Pictures is back after a long dry spell! I can’t talk about it til Thursday morning except to say congrats to everyone involved. Any movie that features the English Beat’s “Save it for Later” can only be top notch!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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