Last week, Paramount Pictures announced release dates for three more movies in the Transformers franchise. Now the studio has clarified that the film they referred to as Transformers 6 will actually be the long-rumored standalone picture for Autobot Camaro Bumblebee. While the next three films in the franchise were announced as a set, they will not be treated the same way by the studio. Transformers 5, which will be directed by Michael Bay, will follow in the big-budget footsteps of the previous movies. But it looks like the checkbook won’t be quite as open for the Bumblebee movie.

The Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, Brad Grey, gave a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in which he clarified the plans for the next three Transformers films. Apparently, both of the films following Michael Bay’s swan song will be standalone films, though the character who will lead Transformers 7 was not mentioned. It also appears that the movies with fewer Transformers in them won’t get as much money to spend.
There are characters in the Transformers universe that can be and should be made into their own movies. We will make the first movie with Michael and go right into a Bumblebee movie, which will be at a lower cost.

It’s completely understandable that if Paramount is looking to make standalone films, they would try and reduce the cost. The last three Transformers movie budgets have hovered around, and even exceeded, the $200 million mark. While they’ve all made more than enough cash globally to justify such a budget, shelling out that much money for three straight years would be quite expensive. As much of that money would need to be spent long before Paramount saw profits from the next chapter, it would still be a big gamble. Movie making is a business, and if you can make the same amount of money by spending less, then that’s what you do.

For the most part, making a Bumblebee film at least a little cheaper shouldn’t be too difficult. To start with, whatever director they bring in to replace Michael Bay will likely cost the studio less. Add to that the fact that doing the CGI to create fewer Transformers will cost less all by itself, and you certainly have a recipe for a less-expensive Transformers movie. Having said that, it will be interesting to see just how much money Paramount wants to try and save. If the final product is cheaper, that’s fine. If the final product looks cheaper, that’s something else entirely.

How much does a reduction of the budget on a Bumblebee movie mean to you? Should we be concerned that the Transformers franchise is trying to cheapen their product? Or is this simple studio math? Let us know your thoughts below.

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