NEW YORK • Can director Michael Bay's latest, and what he says is his final, instalment in the Transformers movie franchise transform Paramount Pictures' fortunes?
Early signs are not promising.
The Last Knight is projected to generate the lowest opening weekend revenue of the five films in the once-mighty franchise, about robot warriors that can morph into cars, said BoxOfficePro.com.
A poor showing would follow the disappointing release of Paramount's Baywatch, which is struggling to break even at the box office.
But foreign markets such as China could come to the rescue, with pundits forecasting that The Last Knight could generate more than US$800 million (S$1.1 billion) in ticket sales.
In the United States, the latest instalment opened early with showings on Tuesday that pulled in US$5.5 million.
Over the weekend, it is slated to collect US$46 million, said BoxOfficePro.com.
Looking further ahead, observers said the departure of Bay can be a positive move, allowing a new creative take on the series.
The next edition of Transformers is scheduled for 2019.