With a $8.8 million preview screening haul, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is off to a great start. This is great news for the series, which had been starting to look like it was dying. The movie follows the events of Bumblebee (2018) but occurs before the events of the first Transformers film in 2007.
Director Travis Knight’s last film, Bumblebee, was praised for having a more personal touch than Michael Bay’s increasingly criticized big-budget spectacles. Fans were satisfied by the improvement and wanted more. When it was revealed that Bumblebee 2 will be rebranded as Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, some worried that the franchise was veering off course. However, early box office success suggests people are enjoying the new movie.
The enthusiasm for Rise of the Beasts was probably aided by the momentum created by Bumblebee. There may have been less series weariness because of the five-year break between films. Paramount Pictures hopes that the renewed interest in the Transformers franchise will lead to the production of other films like this one.
The Maximals, animal-like Transformers that made their debut in Beast Wars, join forces with the Autobots in Rise of the Beasts. Dominique Fishback and Anthony Ramos play two new human characters in the film. Voice actresses Liza Koshy (Arcee) and Cristo Fernández (Wheeljack) attended the New York City premiere of Rise of the Beasts. As the first Latino Autobot, Wheeljack is making his mark on the world. In addition to reuniting Peter Cullen as the legendary voice of Optimus Prime since 1984, the film also debuts a new Transformer dubbed Mirage, portrayed by Pete Davidson.
The opening weekend for Rise of the Beasts has been predicted to be between $55 and $60 million. No doubt the film’s longtime producers, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Tom DeSanto, are looking for nothing less than a smashing success. Paramount Pictures hopes to replicate the financial success of the Transformers prequels with the release of Transformers One in 2024.