Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers: Age Of Extinction’ Earns $301.3M Global For Biggest Opening Weekend Of 2014

BOupdated200SUNDAY AM, 5TH UPDATE: I don’t blame Michael Bay or Paramount for making unnecessary fourquels. I do blame you for paying to see this hot mess. Bay’s all too familiar visual and aural formula of crashes and explosions interspersed with barely there dialogue between robots and humans (and now dinobots) caused Paramount’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction to open to $100M domestic this first weekend and to an international cume through Sunday of $201.3M. The global total should climb to $301.3M for 2014′s biggest opening weekend here and abroad. With a 35% uplift over Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, the film transformed box office records by opening #1 in all 37 international territories on 10,152 locations. So there’s a fivequel planned. (Long sigh…)

Bay knows his audience and gives them what they want: the same action and plot over and over and over and over again, ad nauseam. Transformers4Poster Which is why Bay pocketed $60M from Paramount for just one of his Transformers installments not long ago. Now he and the studio can boast the biggest opening domestic day of 2014 - $41.6M Friday for #1. Saturday fell -21% for $32.1M with an ‘A-’ Cinemascore helping word of mouth, and Sunday should drop -25%. Paramount all day Friday was cautioning me to expect only mid to high $90sM – but that stopped by Saturday midday. Playing in 4,233 U.S. and Canadian theaters this first weekend, TF4 should exceed what the last Transformers 3 did ($97.8M). So how did Paramount sell this fourquel? By turning the marketing campaign to full throttle just like Bay did. (See below.)

At a longer than average 165 minutes playing time (prompting one of my Twitter followers to snark, "Citizen Kane is 119 min. Is there any good reason for Transformers 4 to clock in at 165 min?"), Transformers 4 can’t get in as many 2D and 3D and IMAX screenings daily. But by opening before July 4th, as opposed to Independence Week last time, it should play to a better multiple. This pic intro-ed a new human cast - starring opposite old and new autobots and dinos – featuring the boring Mark Wahlberg (instead of bad-boy Shia LaBoeuf who’s been discarded by Bay and seemingly everybody else in Hollywood), Nicola Peltz (who plays Wahlberg’s "hot" 17-year-old daughter in Bay-dictated Daisy Dukes and too much bronzer), Kelsey Grammer, and Stanley Tucci. Wahlberg and TF4 producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura have made 6 movies together. Cost of the movie is $210M, according to my sources. For that price you get eye fatigue and hearing loss. The money certainly wasn’t spent on human words which are sparing and downright stupid in Ehren Kruger’s screenplay and overshadowed by Optimus Prime’s predictable and often painful "wisdom". Spare us next time.

Produced by Don Murphy & Tom DeSanto, Di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce, and once again fueled by and fueling Hasbro’s Transformers Action Figures, the pic opened to $8.7M from 2,990 Thursday late shows beginning at 9 PM. That’s less than the last installment’s late show take ($13.5M from Transformers: Dark Of The Moon) so the wannasee became wait-and-see. But see they did. Exit polling showed the film’s audience was overwhelmingly men because that’s how Bay conceives these male wet dreams: 64% to 36%, and 42% under age 25 while 58% age 25 and over.

In addition this 4th installment in the multi-billion dollar Transformer franchise started the weekend with $80M internationally after adding $52M on Friday in 36 markets. At $90M in China through Sunday, it earned the largest opening weekend for a foreign film ever and doubled TF3‘s take there.

The Friday international result was 42% above Dark Of The Moon which opened to $161M in similar markets in 2011. In China, Age Of Extinction grossed just over $30M on opening day Friday. This represented a record for the largest opening day for a foreign film in China. Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures announced, "We especially want to thank China Film Group, China Movie Channel, Jiaflix, M1905, China Movie Media and Shanghai Hua Hua. We are incredibly grateful to all of our Chinese partners who made this fantastic result possible." (A significant part of the movie takes place there. Fanboys and reviewers complained about the "very obvious placement" of Chinese products.)

Going into Friday TF4 opened to $30M overseas for a worldwide total of $38.7M – placing #1 in all 22 early-releasing territories. Key weekend highlights included Russia with a massive $21.7M opening weekend, second biggest of all time and largest opening of 2014 and +50% above Transformers 3 date is $9.1M. Australia brought in $10.0M total. Taiwan grossed $8.3M, the biggest of 2014. And new records were set in Korea, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.

The first theatrical 2D teaser trailer debuted March 7th with 300: Rise of An Empire, then played with Need For Speed, Divergent, Noah, The Other Woman and Neighbors.  An IMAX version played with the IMAX releases of Captain America: Winter Soldier and Amazing Spider-Man 2.  A new 3D trailer launched  May 23rd.  A family-specific trailer debuted on May 30 with Maleficent. Paramount tells me TF4′s in-theater print campaign marked the studio’s most varied ever, geared to give audiences "a deeper look" at the new movie characters. Unprecedented number of exclusive on-screen spots featuring Mark Wahlberg played from mid-May to mid-July on 20,000 movie screens.  Large-scale promotions with top national and regional circuits included integrations from social media, home page takeovers and dedicated fan outreach. One million collectors’ Transformers RealD 3D glasses were given away to first fans seeing the film.

Unlike other Hollywood studios, Paramount embraced the World Cup and TF4 had a multilayered campaign tying into it and big ad buys during key games across ESPN and Univision. A spot with Optimus Prime and soccer stars was created for global use.

Spots ran during the premiere of TNT’s Last Ship from executive producer  Michael Bay as well as on Comedy Central/Spike where a car in a shopping mall parking lot was rigged so that TJ Miller could make the vehicle talk like a Transformer to shoppers.

Online, TF4 launched a Superbowl spot in early February introducing the dinobots which became the  #1 movie spot coming out of the game in terms of social mentions online. Paramount even later let fans request Optimus Prime to pick them up for a ride via popular Uber app. The first-of-its-kind partnership for a movie reached 50M social impressions. Also Optimus was reading fan tweets. Video gamers were snagged with Global Xbox takeovers and a first of its kind “Grimmlock Pet” for users to feature as their avatar. Additionally, to capitalize on the huge audience that plays Minecraft, influencers recreated their best TF4 inspired structure in partnership with Maker Studios.

The Transformers: Age of Extinction worldwide junket and premiere was held june 18-20 in Hong Kong, a city featured prominently in the movie.   On the red carpet, a Giant Optimus Statue stood against the city skyline and a performance by the film’s "Battle Cry" song band Imagine Dragons (who announced a contest supported by U.S. radio and online promotions to attend the screening). The film also premiered at the Shanghai International Film Festival closing night and in Beijing. The movie’s U.S. premiere was held at Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on June 25, and the global tour continues on with premieres in Berlin, Rio, and Tokyo through the end of July.

Paramount sent the cast on its most extensive early talent tour to date since Wahlberg et al had to be introduced to the press. The studio also executed a massive $175M promotional push from corporate brand partners around the world including GM Chevrolet and Oreo Cookies, Big Red soda, Valero gas stations and Western Star trucks.

2. Sony’s 22 Jump Street (Week 3 – 3,426 theaters) had a good FSS hold of -46% in spite of Transformers 4 accounting for 57% of overall moviegoing this weekend. The Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill comedy earned $5.0M Friday and $6.0M Saturday for a $15M weekend. Through Sunday the cume should be $139.4M.

3. DreamWorks Animation/Fox’s How To Train Your Dragon 2 (Week 3 – 3,750 theaters) also held well with no kiddie competition. It made $4.1M Friday and $5.1M Saturday for a $12.7M weekend (-49%) and what’s expected to be a $121.4M cume.

4. Screen Gems/Sony’s Think Like A Man 2 (Week 2 – 2,225 theaters) did not get the hold that the studio expected or wanted. It did only $3.4M Friday and $4.1M Saturday for a big -66% drop from a week ago and just a $10.2M weekend and $48.0M cume.

5. Disney’s Maleficent (Week 5 – 3,073 theaters) added $2.5M Friday and $3.3M Saturday for an $8.2M weekend and $201.8M cume, joining both X-Men 2 and Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the $200M domestic club this summer.

6. Warner Bros’ Jersey Boys (Week 2 – 2,905 theaters) from Clint Eastwood sank to #6 with only $2.2M Friday and $3.1M Saturday for a $7.4M weekend (-82%) and a mere $27.1M cume. Toast.

  122 comments on “Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers: Age Of Extinction’ Earns $301.3M Global For Biggest Opening Weekend Of 2014

  1. I saw the film twice and loved it, if you want to watch a film don’t pay attention to petty critics expecting every film to be the most realistic thing they have ever seen. Great film with great characters and a great cast. the dialogue wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t too bad and the dinobots were amazing

  2. I so loved this film, I’m actually thinking about watching it again. All critics who hated this film clearly are not transformers fans

  3. Do not listen to the detractors for nothing on Earth will ever satisfy your inner Transformers geek more than witnessing the utter, complete and total redemption of Michael Bay. With one glorious fell swoop this evidently slow-to-warm-up-but-eventually-wizard-like filmmaker has expunged all his previous crimes against the Transformers fan base and finally delivered them to their deservedly blissful state of Cybertronian nirvana.

    Like a twenty first century Jesus armed with $200 million dollars, Bay has redeemed even the gravest of the sins of our childhood. Not only has he risen phoenix-like, still burning yet majestic, from the putrid black ashes that remained from the burning of our childhood dreams and his own reputation. Incredibly, he has somehow also redeemed the once unforgivable abomination that was the ascension of Rodimus Prime. In one two and half hour expedition to the pinnacle of awesomeness he has made whole the millions of innocent hearts so cynically and selfishly broken all those years ago.

    Suddenly the pain and confusion that was so cruelly and needlessly inflicted upon us in 1986 can be forgotten. Even the fresher scars, the proverbial salt in the wound that is the memory of the first three piles of turd rubbed onto celluloid that Bay tried to pass off as Transformers films, have been forever healed. Like faithful, stubborn and persistent visitors to a highly priced and extremely talented plastic surgeon, we have had our scars forever erased.

    All those that have ever nestled into the sometimes prickly and often disappointing bosom of the Transformers geekdom, go forth like pilgrims to thine local cinema. Flock now so that you all can finally revel in your long overdue and much deserved cinematic birthright: a truly epic journey into the elusive and sublime joys of well thought-out and skilfully delivered Transformers ‘fan service’.

    This movie isn’t for the hordes. It isn’t for the unfortunate souls that weren’t brought up living and breathing robots from Cybertron. It’s not for the critics. It’s an expensive, much belated and exclusive gift made especially just for you. An epic, royally triumphant and completely kick-ass Transformers movie that respects the fan base while also creating a new folklore that not only doesn’t make you want to stab yourself in the face with a rusty nail while having your eyeballs lacerated by a million paper cuts, it is actually pretty awesome in its own right.

    A true fan will find it almost impossible not to love this film. It is simply that good.

    Michael Bay I never thought I would ever say this but, thank you. Even the $600 million odd dollars and approximately seven and a half hours of my life you wasted setting up the story line of this movie with those first three abominations now seems like time and money well spent.

    For after nearly thirty long years of shattered hopes and unfulfilled expectations, finally our inner 6 year olds can live the dream. Finally we can stand on the apex of the Mount Everest of 1980′s nostalgia – and wholeheartedly and enthusiastically enjoy a Transformers movie for the first time – all the while being snugly wrapped in a delightful bubble of restored faith, emancipation from loss and total satisfaction.

    Do not take heed of reviews written by people that have never transformed a toy from a robot to a car in their lives. Do not be distracted by accounts of gratuitous product placement. Worry not about a repeat of previously indecipherable shot composition and editing. Cleanse yourself of the horrible memory that is Shia LeBeouf.

    This film delivers much more in the way of fan service than any of the previous films. Some of it is subtle, some quite overt (Galvatron transforming into a cannon and Optimus spending some time looking much like his G1 alter ego in truck form are notable examples). The movie is peppered with a lot of little touches that would probably be lost on people new to Transformers, but that had me clapping the screen at stages. Some people actually applauded the movie when it ended.

    It’s like they finally aimed it at the fan base, rather than take it for granted that the fan base would go anyway and trying to make it work for everyone else. And I for one appreciated those touches as they have been sorely missing from the franchise. But regardless of whether that stuff resonates with you or not it still has a much better plot than any of the other films and importantly it’s a grand spectacle – almost without a doubt bigger and more outrageous than any other movie in history, period. It is simply EPIC.

    Anyone that is a true Transformers fan obviously wants to and tries to like these movies. Three times previous to this I have failed in this task more or less and pretty much became a card carrying member of the &@#% You Michael Bay You Killed My Childhood club. Yet this time when they take it in yet another direction that is completely incongruous with the beloved and sacred G1 mythology – I totally went with them instead of fighting it. And actually, it is pretty damn cool.

    I didn’t have to try to like this movie. As a Transformers mega-geek Age of Extinction was inherently enjoyable to me in nearly every way. Plus as I said it has a lot of delicious little morsels for the old school fans that just become the cherry on top of a very sweet sundae.

    I am honestly and truly sorry for anyone that thinks they are a Transformers fan but that doesn’t absolutely love this movie. I think it is just a horrible defect in their personality. They will never be happy unless watching the movie is a mere carbon copy of their experiences watching the G1 cartoon. Yes Michael didn’t go in the direction we wanted him to at first. But where he has ended up should allow us to forgive if not forget and appreciate the unique and incredible nature of this motion picture.

    When we thought all hope was lost, Michael Bay has given us what we have been wanting all these years. But for some their own cynicism will not allow them to celebrate the occasion. To them I say let the 6 year old inside you finally let go of all the pain and rip up your Bay Haters membership card.

    All the Transformers aficionados that are brow beaten, dejected and void of all hope should rest assured that finally Michael Bay has miraculously managed to not completely &@#% up a Transformers film.

    The jaded, dejected and resentful among the once wide-eyed and awestruck Transformers mega-geeks: rejoice! For you are the chosen ones. You are the chosen few for whom Transformers: Age of Extinction won’t be a loud and obnoxious destruction of two and a half perfectly good hours of your life. It will be an exhilarating, deeply satisfying and ultimately spiritual experience.

  4. So all the other studios and analyst are saying Paramount is elevating its final numbers so they can have their $100 mil weekend? What are your insiders saying, Nikki?

  5. I haven’t seen the movie yet and you people are trashing in like it was garbage. I saw the first three and enjoyed it. You people lack sense. It was an action movie, there are suppose to be explosions and things. I grew up watching the transformers. I’m glad they brought it to the big screen. You people need to get a life.

    1. I saw the films and enjoyed them, the second film really wasn’t that great but the other two were good to me. I saw the fourth film recently and I don’t understand why people are putting this film down, I really enjoyed this film as it had all the aspects of G1 and the new changes.

    2. [SPOILER ALERT] I think the fourth film was one of the greatest films I have ever seen. The action in the film was unforgettable, the special effects are ridiculously amazing and the story line really isn’t that bad. I just saw it in IMAX and it was really good. The changes that were made in this film were, in my opinion, excellent. I love how the have brought Hound in and getting an X Decepticon samurai that transforms into a Bugatti Veyron, come on. The Dino bots are perfect, The action they had in the 20 minutes of that film were astounding. The only problems I had with the film was that Galvatron and Optimus should have had another fight and maybe Grimlock and the Dino bots could have been able to talk. Despite this I don’t care what people say, to me and pretty much everyone I know, this was a great film.

  6. Just watched the new show, The Leftovers. Holy shit was it boring. The first twenty minutes felt like two hours. Emo kids playing spin the bottle and decide to bury a dog. A cult that smokes and just walks around. A depressed Sheriff who decides to shoot a pack of dogs. A white middle class kid trying to score with an Asian chick. I believed we just just Lindeloffed!

    1. The Leftovers required too much of an attention span, I guess, huh, Anonymous? I found the story moody and promising. I’m looking forward to how it develops.

  7. I’ve stopped going to the movies long ago and instead I opted out for Redbox and the public libraries. A better alternative than being bluegoned to death with spectacle and explosives…

  8. It seems Deadline is running scared of you Nikki. They’ve put out 4-5 articles on just the Transformers box office analysis alone. Lol, it takes 5 of their articles to combat/match just 1 of yours.

  9. "Well, it’s no trick to make a lot of money… if all you want is to make a lot of money." -Bernstein to Thompson the reporter, CITIZEN KANE

  10. Staying for the subversion is awesome! "Trashformers" nice one. Just because it makes a shi-ton of money doesn’t make it right, lol.

  11. The success of this film just goes to show you that people love to be spoon fed cinematic shit. I tried to watch the first Transformers movie while I was bed ridden back in 2007, but even then it was just too childish and plain stupid. Oh well, looks like more of these films will continued to be made and Michael Bay’s ego will go to new arrogant heights.

    1. Bingo…..you hit the nail on the head. Why do I have to watch Chinatown once a quarter, as a mind cleanse of the general crap that H-wood pumps out.

  12. Paramount: Mike, we need another Transformers film, this time one that will be big in China so we can fill it full of products the rest of the world has never heard of. Michael Bay: No. Paramount: You can have $210 million, first $ gross points, a non-script, as many special effects and hot babes as you want, just make sure you turn the audience’s brains to guacamole. Michael Bay: 165 minutes do you?

  13. My comment after seeing the first Transformers movie? "It would’ve been OK, if they’d left out the robots." People get what they pay for. I can’t believe anyone would pay money to see the same thing in a fourth installment, let alone second and third. Could you folks please just cut it out? I’d like to see something halfway-decent from the studios.

  14. I had to see it for review purposes (no critics’ screening here – they knew it would make its money without them) and have to say it was almost as bad as the second one (one of the worst big budget movies of all time). I almost nodded off despite the noise. Three things kept me from giving it an F: amazing 3D, Mark Wahlberg and, especially, Stanley Tucci. I doubt Bay even realized the irony of the Hound character (think The Howling Commandos’ Dum Dum Dugan as an Autobot, complete with transforming stogie) saying, ‘This is a bad idea and I’m all about bad ideas.’

  15. T4 is another Bay movie I won’t waste my money on. But I really enjoyed "Edge of Tomorrow." For once, a sci-fi story with a novel twist. And it got a 90 on RT. "Snowpiercer" is doing even better. So, yeah, there are a few good movies at theaters this summer. But very few.

  16. I saw it last night and found it pretty disappointing. The only interesting character was the Steve Jobs satirical take by Stanley Tucci. Wahlberg was downright boring as the lead and the boyfriend character looked just like Wahlberg from a distance. The movie was so long that I actually thought the battle in Chicago WAS the climax, then I remembered, wait… we haven’t seen the Dinobot sequence. I LOVED the first Transformers movie, but I credit that mostly to the good screen writing and decision to focus on the relationship of Sam Witwicky and Bumblebee, at least as the starting reference between humans and Transformers. I also give Bay credit for the fun and cool military sequences and the humorous supporting cast which added up to a thoroughly enjoyable summer blockbuster. But each one after that has drifted further away from the formula of the original. And with this fourth one its as if Bay doesn’t much care anymore. Plus, Optimus looks dumb in his new form. Old form was SO much cooler looking. Plus, the new autobots look more like Gobots than Transformers. One thing that’s bugged me about this series, which started in the second movie, is that they abandoned the conceit that these were "Robots in Disguise". To my mind, the neatest thing about the Transformers concept is that they could be hiding anywhere as everyday vehicles and machinery. When the whole world is aware of the "Aliens" it kills the mystery of that idea. I hope if they ever do a reboot they stick to keeping the transformers as a mystery to the wider public.

    1. First I love G1. I remember in 86′ seeing my first movie as a 4yr/old and crying when Optimus died. The first movie in 2007 was total garbage, but I went to see the second. Although disappointed greatly in Devasator, I found the death scene reminiscent of the original movie. The 3rd was a total disaster, due to the Sam.W plot that made zero sense at all. This one. This was a solid movie. It played a lot of homage to G1 and the original movie. It also showed humanity and the lack of faith in humans the Prime finally was feeling. It was perfect. Long, a bit over done, but it setup a perfect new trilogy. The human elements of Mark and his daughter reminded me of Spike and Daniel a bit. Don’t knock it until you see it.

  17. Transformers, robots in disguise. Gotta love that. I have never paid to see any one of the Transformers films, although I’ve seen the previous 3. I love the robots and they never get old. Yeah, the plots are stupid and the acting and Bay regurgitates things and lifts scenes and dialogue from other films, hey, but he’s making the millions. - Of the first 3, number three was the most horrific, even the robots couldn’t save that mess. As much as we complain, people still pack the theaters to see these films. That really is the most interesting thing to me, the people who actually go see these films are the ones that complain about the quality the most. Yet, there they are again and again, every time their butts are in those seats. Are they being brainwashed? lol. - As for ratings: no one gives a crap about ratings, certainly the studio doesn’t as long as the film is pulling in the money. I’ll take a RT score of 5% and 100 million dollar opening week any day. At the end of the day the only thing that counts is money. - Anyway, I can see Bay or someone else rebooting Transformers to do prequels. How were the Transformers and Decepticons created, who created them, why did the war start, etc. Yep, there’s more gold in them there hills. There would be NO humans ( or will there?) in those films which would greatly decrease the bad acting.

  18. Nikke, I find it funny that you wrote so much about T4 even though you hate it. I doubt that you even saw it. I didn’t see it either, but I’m not dismayed by its success.

  19. And Dragon 2 continues to underperform. It probably won’t even do Kung Fu Panda 2 numbers at this rate. 200 million domestic is extremely unlikely. So much for what was supposed to be the most-anticipated film of the summer. Lesson to Hollywood: if you want to make money with animated family films, and you want to keep a franchise going, don’t arbitrarily turn one of the main characters gay. America is still much more traditional than the people pushing certain agendas want to believe. Or maybe, they DO believe it; those people behind certain agendas are still avoiding using the ballot box to achieve their goals. They know that, despite the rhetoric about "tolerance" (LOL, the hypocrites), they’d still lose going that route. I bet it’ll be a long long time before any Hollywood studio making family films tries such a stunt again. Yes, what I’ve typed here is certainly politically-incorrect. But maybe, from time to time, it’s more important to be truthful.

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure how to even react to this stuff any more. You can’t say anything. If you do, you get called all sorts of names by the tolerant ones. Just like 12 Years A Slave – you know if you voted for another film, you’re a racist. We’ve bent so far backwards that we’re now staring at our own assholes and wondering where next. PC will slowly but surely ruin anything human.

      1. You’re criticizing others for being offended but honestly it would seem you need to take your own advice. It’s ridiculous you are whining that others are intolerant of your intolerance.

    2. How does everyone think Disney’s "Planes: Fire and Rescue" will do? It’s a big summer movie for the mouse house. If Dragon 2 is under-performing will that be good or bad for Planes?

      1. "Planes: Fire and Rescue" is going to kill it at the box office due to the fact that many parents will choose it to take their kids to over anything else that is playing for the next two months.

  20. dear fans of transformers:

    if i was going to watch only one of the transformer movies, which one should it be? i have never seen one yet.

  21. Trash-formers, the only franchise in the history of film where instead of butter for the popcorn, there’s a small shaker of Dramamine on offer. It’s to save the audience from getting motion sick during the claustrophobic " MTV direction" of the fight scenes. The fight scenes being the only thing that keeps the miserable "plot" and the awful human characters at all relevant to the film on offer. Bay fan boys and audiences may pay to see what comes out of his mind, but that does not instantly make the film or the people who made it immune from criticism. What deserves deeper examination is the fact that Bay has had four films now to get a willing audience "into" the set of characters these machines are supposed to be.

    Try this: After the film is over, and your stomach has settled, forget entirely about the Humans. Describe for someone who has never seen the movies or any of the merchandise each of the machines, without saying what they look like, or using any dialogue from any of the films. Your entire conversation will last less than ten minutes, I promise you.

    Four films.. Roughly eight hours of screen time, spread over years of real time, and you can’t sustain a decent conversation about the main heroes, or the principal villains.

    Now I went to the film school of hard knocks, I can still tell you after half a century what gaffer’s tape is, and where to get the good old stuff. Point is, that even someone like me who started out in the grunt end of films, can tell you that there is still something the matter with the story Bay is telling, and how he is telling it. I’m sorry if this upsets the rabid fan boys who are out to defend "their" movie at all costs and against all comers. But if you "unplug" your blind enthusiasm, and think film rather than fan boy, you will begin to see the consistency of Bay’s inconsistencies. Bay has reached a real danger point for any director and franchise. That is the point where he thinks he can do no wrong. It has happened at some point or other to every major franchise. The moment that any director or any fan is willing to close their mind to criticism, or to different ideas, the director is rooted, and the franchise is doomed, even if it has its own inertia. Bay will keep cranking these out as long as they make money. But the thing is, in a town where money is life, people will eventually begin to question how much more money Bay could have made if the films are made better.

    Computer graphics and effects could not save Star Wars from bad story. Bad story will eventually catch up to Transformers as well.

    1. bad story’ll catch up to Transformers after it makes, let’s say, four billion dollars. until then, keep complaining that you can’t sustain a decent conversation about the main heroes, or principal villains, in a movie based on a cartoon and a toy line about transforming alien robots from a planet named Cybertron. you are trying way too hard to be profound, and that’s why you fail.

  22. I was intimately involved in Transformers 3 (the only one I worked on in the franchise) and one of the most amusing stories is that of everybody involved in the production, only one person wanted it to be as long as it was. Producers, studio heads, everybody else pleaded (and promised) that it would be under two hours — well, you know the rest.

    1. I have the horrible feeling that despite the torturous 165-minute running time, one more hour wound up on the cutting-room floor. Which means that Michael Bay will squeeze even more ill-gotten gains from this rancid cash-cow by inserting at least 30 minutes of these deleted scenes into a special home-video called "The Director’s Cut". Forewarned is forearmed!

  23. Shame America! Why waste your dollars on this hot mess! Nikki is right…blame yourself for this opening weekend number. Bay has to be the worst, self indulgent, delusional director around.

  24. You all that are talking junk about transformers are killing me. You all need to shut up and don’t watch bay movies. Until you make a movie don’t judge his movies.

    1. We can (and will continue to) criticize this franchise whether or not we’re currently working in film. If said criticism is killing you, perhaps you should step away from the computer and get some exercise.

  25. Welcome to the Age of Stink. The movies this summer have stunk. Spider Man 2 stunk. Godzilla stunk. Transformers stinks. X-Men was good and Dawn of the Apes looks good. Guardians of the Galaxy looks stinky. We are now in the Age of Stink. Thanks Mr. Bay. You are primarily responsible for the shitty summer movies we are getting. Thanks.

    1. Actually GODZILLA was very good, flaws aside THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 was hardly "terrible". TRANSFORMERS 4 was cheesy fun, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY actually looks cool.

      1. actually, I would say that "Godzilla" was *very* good….but it was more than passable. Being quasi-otaku and familiar with all things J-pop, it found it to be true to the original Toho formula of Jaiku, but with far, far better execution (score one for technology). Plodding to start, it dwelled far too much in the family dynamic steeped in (stultifyingly dull) tragedy of unresolved childhood isses. However, once it got started down the proper path emblazoned by Kiaju tradition…it did get quite good. —The rest of the slate you mentioned…well…let’s just say I am not in a postion to judge. I’ll probably just wait until the rest of those titles arrive in the $3 bargain bin. And even then….maybe.

    2. The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote, "Stink, stank, stunk!" ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, 1966

  26. I have no interest in Transformers or the franchise itself, but bemoaning the fact that others enjoy it is silly. It’s a summer popcorn flick…nothing more, nothing less, and it’s good for the industry as a whole when a movie does good business.

  27. Talking robots and robot dinosaurs for 2 hours, 45 minutes. 4 minutes longer than Bridge Over The River Kwai, a movie I find great but far too long. How’s that 165 minutes going to feel when instead of academy award winning acting, writing, and directing, you’re getting bullshit dialog, Marky Mark mumbling his lines and squinty his monkey face, and not a single shot lasting more than 6 seconds? It sounds like a migraine waiting to happen. A boring nightmare. Michael Bay needs to learn to edit himself and hire a writer sometime. Spectacle films need not be boring garbage.

    1. Hey I loved "Pain and Gain" which I thought was really good and perceptive and wry social comment so he can do a lot more than people think he can. He doesn’t make movies for the intelligentsia chattering classes but for blue and pink collars and that is one very huge audience and always has been.

  28. Nikki, instead of this stupid business news, I think your readers would rather be reading stuff that’s more salacious and exciting. EXamples: an interview with a member of Shia’s entourage; a story on a waitress who had a chance encounter with Ben Affleck; Farrah’s last days. This is what we want to read, not how much money some dumb movie made.

  29. Have to admit…never have been much of a fan for Mecha And while the translation from anime to live action has been more than impressive, I am left to wonder how many more trips to the well can this franchise make? . That said, I think opening the movie the week *before* the 4th was a stroke of genius. While such a strategy does carry some risk..(I.E. if word-of-mouth trends negative), they could wind up losing the big weekend…but I think it a sound gamble in an effort to make the multiple appear better. . If well recieved this week, next weekend could be monster. We’ll know if this appraoch pays off or not in about 10 days.

  30. Imagine what it must be like to be the producer of the film and look at the budget as you’re going in and see $210,000,000.

  31. The best thing for Hollywood would be for this Transformers movie to crash and burn and lose the studio a lot of money. Sadly it won’t bomb but I don’t think it’s going to be as profitable as they hope it will be. They will continue to make movies just like this because people will spend money to see this crap.

    1. My sensibilities are firmly grounded in Coen Brothers/Wes Anderson territory–and I understand your point–BUT it is show BUSINESS. Using your logic, studios are supposed to make movies that people won’t spend money to see? As a screenwriter, I’d love for the masses to buy tickets to my navel gazing–but the reality is they are more inclined to by tickets to watch things blows up other things. Besides, when a Michael Bay movie makes a lot of money for a studio, they have money to throw at the smaller gems. If Hollywood didn’t make movies that sold tickets, there would be no money for Kat Candler’s "Hellion" (the best movie of Summer 2014) to get a distribution deal.

      1. "As a screenwriter"? Your writing certainly doesn’t convey that fact. Of course, anyone can say that. It just sounds a bit humorous in this case.

  32. movie looks great. sounds great. isn’t great. rob moore spending too much time in china. maybe he’s trying to get the chinese to buy paramount. d’oh!

  33. There is a depressing graph circulating out there that tracks Michael Bay’s films via number of mindless explosions vs box office total. The higher the number of explosions in the movie the higher the box office gross. Until this changes Bay can justify to himself sacrificing plot for special effects all the way to the bank, I’m sad to say.

      1. What a stupid retort. People paying $15+ for a ticket should demand some quality. If you’re happily entertained by this dreck I feel more pity than scorn for you.

        1. Don’cha just love these pseudo-intellectuals… NOT! Put that in your schoolyard and smoke it. People who can’t, that diss those who can, make my skin crawl. But I do understand… gotta get some attention somehow–might as well wait until a parade comes along so you can pizz on it; THAT’ll get some attention!

          1. Oh, my – yes, you sound like a "professional." Dear, I can, and I do. I think that what you typed, falls under your own description of needing attention, desperately.

  34. If any other filmmaker had made such an indulgent, over wrought and over long movie, they would be sentenced to Hollywood Jail. But Michael Bay and his "Transformers" excess — or is that excrement? — gets a pass because his movies make money. Lots of it. And that’s a damn shame. The triumph of money over ‘movie scat’ can depress the most ardent of artists.

  35. Doesn’t seem as though the entire slate of Summer fare lack any level of excitement to it. I have two teenagers 12 and 15 and the only title they cared to see was Fault in Our Stars. Hollywood has finally reached what the studio accountants always wanted . The stability of selling hamburgers. The tent poles are tired or stale bread with no meat in the middle. But it’s a predictable cost structure. It’s interesting that two months ago SONY was the one trick pony this summer and now looks like at the end will be the overall winner. Finally, After being a buyer for 25 years , I never thought I’d see the 4th of July so ignored.

    1. Kat Candler’s "Hellion" is the best movie of Summer 2014. There are good films out there–you just have to do your due diligence to find them. Prime rib–rare. Every once in a while, though, there’s nothing wrong with a little hamburger.

  36. I have liked all of the T movies. the early ones with Shia and Megan were great. Many including me went to see Fox running around. the later movies are not as interesting, in that they have a new cast but the same Autobots. Can’t the Autobots see that the people are different or what? HA Seriously, I will see it but will wait until the following weekend. Rock on Nikki

  37. Along with those Vin Diesel car movies, I cannot fathom the popularity of this junk. America really does have a large segment of short-fingered vulgarians.

      1. Exactly, did this moron not read what Nikki wrote about it breaking records in China and Russia….let me guess, this guy is a left coaster.

          1. It means our friends from drudge have arrived and they are obsessed with making everything under the sun into a political issue.

  38. Hey, Shia is going through his "Am Aye a Real Artist" phase. This too shall pass. He would have kicked BO over the top for Bay if not given the boot on the robot reboot – nobody wants to see the thingbots without the psychohuman in tow (;

    1. "Hey, Shia is going through his "Am Aye a Real Artist" phase. " I think it seems more like he’s going through the "burn and crash stage of being bi-polar and willing to take his meds" stage. If that’s the case he has my real sympathies. Of course he could also be going through an "I am a privileged and over indulged shithead" phase. Or both stages simultaneously.

      1. His former franchise Extincts Like Hell as someone pointed out, and Shia has the Lohan Syndrome with a touch of Amanda mixed with mostly recoverable Heche Hives. Not nuts, doesn’t play the privileged card, merely needs the Other Lindsay [Crouse] who is an actor|mentor but really a life coach. Shia has a Fame Hangover, likely brought on by smoking the Chronic soaked in whatever triggers nuts for Hwood youths.

          1. Yeah, you got me there. Point being, lets not be so hasty to throw Shia on the shitheap. Very amped and talented just gone Ronin without guidance (likely bad drugs) @ this moment but nothing cute meant btw.

          2. Dear Anonymous – not "clueless" – I just wish that people who stumble in here from outside the industry, could compose a logical, intelligent sentence/paragraph.

      2. My money is on both. Reading about his childhood it’s pretty evident he’s had to experience some very disturbing things no child should have to live through. However, now that he’s an adult he needs to get some help and stop being so damn obnoxious. There is actually footage of him trying to steal a homeless dude’s hat?!?!? That’s just so wrong.

        1. Confirmed – Shia was smoking weed before mayhem. Weed today is so toxic treated etc. Lindsay, Britney, Amanda had same weedcrazy, weird that Shia is the only dude w same symptoms so maybe it’s the same dealer :P

  39. Yeah, I don’t know, I think this franchise should have gone the way of a "full reboot". New director(s) hmm… Lord & Miller, Edgar Wright, The Russo Bros come to mind maybe, new non-junkyard designs, new everything. It will make it’s money, but I think the painfully long running time, and some domestic audience folks keen that the movies are literally the same copy & paste effort three entries in a row now . With the Red Letter Media gangs funny YouTube video of the those guys watching all three Bayformer flicks simultaneously to eerily similar results. Not to mention "Bay4rmers: Age Of Chinese Film Production pandering" may actually hit a lower "Rotten rating" on RT than the most reviled entry of 2009′s Revenge of The Fallen – T:AOE currently at 17% Rotten , T:ROTF ended at 19% Rotten.

  40. I remember when King Kong 2005 was released, I read reports that the studio was not happy with the long running time. In the case of King Kong, that long running time was necessary for story development. Perhaps the long running time of this spectacle called Transformers 4 is justified because they need enough time for all those product placements and on the side they use whatever time that is left over for storytelling. Welcome to the new storytelling paradigm!!

    1. Exactly why was the long running time for the 2005 KING KONG necessary for story development ??? The original told exactly the same story, only better, in a little more than half the running time.

      1. Rob is right. Part of the problem with most of the "event" movies that come from Hollywood is that they are bloated. The fact is 99% of the movies made today can tell whatever story they have in 100 minutes or less.

  41. I guess in honor of the opening of this movie, Shia LaBeouf decided last night to further his transformation from human being to caricature during a Broadway performance of ‘Chicago’. Since he used the "f_g" word, I can only surmise that his career is officially over.

  42. I was reading another BO site and the fanboys are having a meltdown that this won’t have that big 100 million opening. Just so so funny. They were shitting on another film because it has made more money than the films they thought would be the big break out.. I expect to see this maybe at some point. I’m not a Mark Wahlberg (I put out a guys eye) fan.

      1. The dumbest move ever.. but I think the point of that was so that the people seeing it would be stuck and not able to see another movie.. Too exhausted. How in the world is this almost 3 hours. Way too long for a popcorn film. It is not some Epic drama.. I will say in all honesty I hope it misses the 100 mark. Just so I can read all the excuses the fanboys are going to make. It already started.. the previews started at too late of a time.. Seriously funny. I blame the studio for allowing this to go through with that running time. Serves them right. And maybe with how these Summer Tent Poles have made money people will finally get that the general public is getting tired of the over saturation of these films. I for one won’t go to see them in theater. If you’ve seen ONE you’ve seen them all.

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