Paramount Pictures hosted the “Bumblebee” premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California this weekend. Select members of the cast and crew, along with a giant Transformer buddy named Bumblebee, hit the red-carpet to meet with fans and discuss the upcoming spinoff that’s coming to theaters later this month.

The story takes place withing the popular “Transformers” franchise, but this chapter takes place in the year 1987. While on the run, Bumblebee hides away in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) is just about to turn 18 when she discovers Bumblebee in his solitude, sitting alone while battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.

Starring alongside Hailee Steinfeld in the film are John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon, and Stephen Schneider. This new installment to the franchise was directed by Travis Knight and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Brian Goldner, and Chris Brigham.

“Bumblebee” is hitting theaters on December 21st, the same weekend as “Aquaman,” “Second Act,” and “Welcome to Marwen”. While that’s a lot of competition, the Transformers have proven to be a strong adversary at the box office. Paramount Pictures rebooted the franchise in 2007 and the first film made over $319M domestically before reaching $709M globally. The sequel did even better, grossing $402M domestically and over $836M worldwide. The third film in the series was the first to break $1B worldwide and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” finished its theatrical run with a $1.12B gross. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” also hit the $1B mark, but failed to keep the upward trend going and maxed out at $1.1B worldwide. “Bumblebee” will have to hit $1.3B to take the lead, and the film will need to break $158M on opening weekend to beat “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” December opening record.

“Bumblebee” is the franchises’ course correction after “Transformers: The Last Knight” failed to match the previous releases. That film was released in 2017 and only made $130M domestically in theaters, though the film did make $605M worldwide. The “Bumblebee” spinoff is getting back to basics and has a new cast and a new director, hoping to lure fans back to the franchise this holiday season.

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