12. Bumblebee 2
Why It's Unexpected
Last year's Transformers spin-off Bumblebee may have performed surprisingly well with critics - scoring by far the best reviews of the series - but for a film budgeted at around $135 million, it didn't get off to the strongest start at the box office.
In a crowded commercial battleground which saw it fending off the likes of Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Mary Poppins Returns and Mortal Engines, Bumblebee opened relatively soft and ultimately grossed $466.9 million worldwide, making it the lowest-grossing film in the franchise (trailing The Last Knight's already underwhelming $605.4 million).
Though that figure certainly made Bumblebee profitable, one suspects Paramount was hoping for a much stronger performance, and nobody would've been surprised if they just quietly scrapped any prospect of a sequel as a result.
What We Know
In January, a sequel was said to be in the early stages of development due to the film's international box office performance (where it made over 70% of its profit), and last month producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura officially confirmed Bumblebee 2 in place of a sequel to The Last Knight.
It will reportedly serve as a direct sequel to the first film rather than leaping forward in time, so it's quite likely that Hailee Steinfeld will return, especially given that she effectively forms the movie's emotional backbone.
Bonaventura also confirmed that legendary Autobot leader Optimus Prime will have a role in the movie.
Production probably won't get started for a little while as neither a writer nor director have been announced, but in terms of nurturing Transformers as a cinematic brand, it's certainly Paramount's best bet right now.