5 Ways to Prep: Baby Driver
By George Rose
July 3, 2017
A few weeks ago, Pirates 5 opened with $77 million domestically over the four-day Memorial holiday and $285 worldwide over the long weekend. It is now expected to earn somewhere around $750 million worldwide when all is said and done, which is basically the break-even point for the $230 million production. I was so excited to see Transformers 5 this past weekend so that I could be on the right side of history and beside the winner of the fifth-quel battle royale. Pirates 5 was an already laughable 29% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, much higher than the terrible movie deserved. Then Transformers 5 reviews came out. They are currently at 15% positive. Just so you know that’s not a typo, I’ll write it again: 15%. I kid you not. 15%.
Sometimes I get psyched out and don’t rush to see a movie because the reviews are terrible. I’ll skip the Thursday sneak preview, wait to see what happens over the weekend, and I’ll catch a showing on Sunday so I can be among the last to say they saw the movie on opening weekend. But then, before I could even talk to friends about the movie and possibly have them tell me the reviews were wrong, the early opening weekend numbers came in. After being released on a Wednesday (probably so the weekend numbers couldn’t be fairly compared to Pirates 5), Transformers 5 earned $69 million over the five-day opening and $265 million worldwide. Sound familiar? It’s expected to earn maybe $750 million worldwide in the end against a $217 million budget, which means it won’t earn or lose money. Again, sound familiar?
There aren’t many things worse in my mind than big studios wasting money on beloved franchises with endless potential and RUINING EVERYTHING. One of the few things worse, I imagine, is a starstruck Hollywood super nerd like me trying to make a fun game out of the inevitable failures of these fifth franchise entries and having the battle end in A MOTHER FUDGING TIE. And not just any tie. If they both made or lost lots of money, the tie would be something interesting to talk about. Instead, the tie is both films breaking painfully even. There will be no pointing and laughing this week, my friends. Just the torture of wondering if making/losing $0 is enough to encourage the studios to end or continue the franchises.
Though neither fifth film was able to differentiate itself from the other, the two franchises will veer in vastly different directions moving forward. The writers-room initiative has Transformers sequels/spin-offs on the fast track while we’re not likely to see a Pirates 6 movie for quite some time, if ever. All eyes are on Transformers now to reveal their cards after this fifth film fiasco. Until then, we had a different battle royale of sorts this past weekend, a David vs Goliath if you will. In one corner we have Baby Driver, the 98% positive low-budget picture from one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed rising directors. In the other corner we have Despicable Me 3, the fourth entry (uuuggggghhhh) in the Minions franchise that recently topped $1 billion with its third film.