This summer box-office season has a problem that the movie industry is looking to Michael Bay and Optimus Prime to solve.
So far this year, no movie has broken the $100-million mark in its first three days, despite big results from "
But that could change if
Paramount is being a bit more conservative, putting projections at $90 million to $100 million for the film, which cost $210 million to make.
That result should help pad a summer season that has so far proved lackluster compared with last year.
Movies have grossed about $1.8 billion in the U.S. and Canada this summer as of Tuesday according to Rentrak. That's down 15% from the same stretch of time last year.
But the 2013 season started with a true whopper.
This summer's most robust openings have also been followed by steep drops.
The second weekends for
The 2014 year-to-date box-office is slightly lower than the strong results of 2013. Rentrak puts ticket sales at just shy of $5 billion as of Tuesday, whereas 2013 had already surpassed that milestone.
Earlier this year, the box-office was up thanks to the powerful pull of movies such as "The Lego Movie," "Captain America" and even "Frozen," which debuted in November. That lead has now disappeared.
"Transformers" is poised to enter the marketplace in a crushing way, however.
Bay introduced a new cast of humans for the fourth installment, replacing Shia LeBeouf and his cohorts from the earlier pictures.
To make the leap past $100 million, "Transformers 4" would have to outperform the 2011 interation
The U.S. and Canadian sales will be only a fraction of the story. "Dark of the Moon" brought in nearly 70% of its total $1.12-billion worldwide haul from overseas.
"Age of Extinction" is banking heavily on markets outside North America, particularly in China. The movie opens in multiple key countries internationally this weekend, including China, Korea and Russia.