Between the creativity and the lack of transparency in Hollywood accounting, box office analysis is an inexact science. That caveat in place, it looks like “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” fell short of breaking even in theaters. Of its $436.6 million worldwide total, only 36 percent ($157 million) came from the domestic box office, with the rest coming from international markets.
Studios typically reap a smaller percentage of ticket sales in foreign markets, and that’s especially true of China, where a trade agreement dictates that U.S. studios receive only 25 percent of box office revenue. $91 million in ticket sales at the Chinese box office accounts for more than 20 percent of the global total for “Transformers: Rise of The Beasts,” and only around $22 million of that would have found its way back to Paramount Pictures. Factoring in marketing costs and the division of revenue, it’s doubtful that “Rise of the Beasts” paid for itself during its theatrical run.
Still, it’s not all bad news. At the domestic box office, “Rise of the Beasts” is only the second-lowest grossing live-action “Transformers” movie, with spinoff/prequel “Bumblebee” coming out slightly lower — though thanks to a considerably smaller budget and strong overseas performance, “Bumblebee” still managed to be a modest box office hit.
Like many movies that fell short of breaking even but didn’t outright bomb, “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” could now make its way into the golden fields of profitability through the path of home media. It’s been available to buy on VOD for a few weeks, and will hit Blu-ray and DVD on October 10, 2023.