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'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' Trailer 02: Michael Bay's Teflon Franchise
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'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' Trailer 02: Michael Bay's Teflon Franchise

May 15 2014, 5:25am CDT | by

Michael Bay’s  Transformers franchise is like the Joker’s Christmas special in that early Batman: The Animated Series episode. They are the films that “nobody wants to see, but everyone...

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10 weeks ago

'Transformers: Age Of Extinction' Trailer 02: Michael Bay's Teflon Franchise

May 15 2014, 5:25am CDT | by

Michael Bay’s  Transformers franchise is like the Joker’s Christmas special in that early Batman: The Animated Series episode. They are the films that “nobody wants to see, but everyone will watch.” This Paramount (a division of Viacom, Inc.) franchise is one that pretty much everyone claims to hate, that everyone claims represents the nadir of big-budget blockbuster film making. Yet Transformers ($709 million worldwide), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($836m), and Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.12b) have made an average of $889m worldwide apiece.

In terms of per-film averages, that’s behind only Harry Potter ($965m over eight films), the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films ($964m over five films), and Pirates of the Caribbean ($932m over four films). In many ways, the Transformers films break the rules when it comes to franchise film making. The rules that often apply to mega-budget franchise properties just don’t seem to apply to Michael Bay’s robot-fighting spectacles. No one seems to like them, but yet the grosses don’t seem to be diminished all that much by how disliked the prior installment was. There is no “Tomb Raider Trap” effect for these films.

They also make no effort to market to women in any stereotypical sense, all-but-stating that the main female roles are there purely for t&a and selling the uber-macho male fantasies about manly men doing mortal combat with vehicles that turn into death robots. While most of the very biggest franchises at least attempt to appeal to both genders (think AvatarHarry Potter, and Pirates of the Caribbean), the Transformers films have almost nothing to offer the female movie goer. They are the most explicitly male-pandering franchise around, basically a gender-reversed Twilight Saga. But at least the Twi-Hards actually like the various Twilight films.

At best, you’ll find most film writers admitting to liking the first film with its “boy and his car” narrative that kept the robots in the background for most of the picture. But even that (inexplicably) well-received initial installment is now usually lumped in with the generally loathed sequels. Yet there is little doubt, despite what would otherwise be a surefire contender for franchise fatigue, that Transformers: Age of Extinction will be among the biggest-grossing films of the summer if not the very biggest. This apparent contradiction arguably stems from two specific factors.

First of all, the very people complaining loudest about how much they hate Michael Bay or loathe the Transformers films will likely be first in line at that Thursday night IMAX screening come June 26th. Just as the people most up in arms about Ben Affleck  playing Batman will be among the first to see Batman Vs. Superman. The “nerds” complain the loudest, but they will show up to geek-friendly movies no matter what.  Part of the ongoing success of this franchise  to an acknowledgement that said film nerds don’t represent mainstream movie culture as much as they like to think we do.  The regular moviegoers, the ones who fuel the vast majority of ticket buyers for these kinds of movies, don’t necessarily obsess over the intricate details of these kind of movies as you or I might.

What we have to remember is that the vast majority of moviegoers of all demographics don’t very much care if a film based on an 80′s cartoon involving giant robots smashing each other to bits is “good.” They come for the big-scale action scenes, the vulgar humor, and the slapstick comedy that we’ve come to expect from these films. They don’t mind that Bay drags out a solid 105-minute robot-smashing action thriller into a 2.5 hour would-be epic or that the films can’t decide to be kid-friendly romps or borderline R-rated action comedies. Even if they do, they are only going to see the film once in a theater anyway, so who cares if it “works”? Those who come to a Transformers movie for the basest possible reasons will still show up once every few years for their fill of robot-smashing fun and ignore the stuff that doesn’t work.

We’ll see if franchise fatigue sets in this time around. As we saw with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($240m/$1b), domestic audiences may well take a step back only to watch overseas audiences pick up the slack. The film ended up being a co-production with (among others) China Movie Channel. Transformers: Dark of the Moon earned $165 million in China alone, $100m more than Revenge of the Fallen, and a trick that Paramount would like to repeat this go-around. Also helping matters is that the film cost “just” $165m, a big comedown from the $200m Revenge of the Fallen and the $195m Dark of the Moon and just above the $150m original installment.

The film does seem to have a slightly smaller in scale than the Chicago-trashing Dark of the Moon, while having an honest-to-goodness movie star like Mark Wahlberg will theoretically lessen the domestic fatigue (as will Dino-Bots). In all likelihood, the critics will howl, the fans will protest, but everyone will see it once and it will make nearly $1 billion worldwide anyway. Either way, whether it’s an artistic improvement or not,  it will be interesting to watch. Transformers: Age of Extinction drops in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on June 27th, 2014. As always, we’ll see. In the meantime, enjoy the delightfully silly “Battle Cry” song from the group Imagine Dragons, which has a goofy appeal to a moviegoer who grew up with fantastically cheesy action movie songs from the likes of Kenny Loggins, Frank Stallone, and Survivor./>/>

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the ...
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Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken i ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan R ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Da ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocation of RM20 mil ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 2014 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrar ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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