On the whole, this has not been a great summer for Hollywood. As we reported last month, box office profits across the board are down 20% compared to what they were in 2013. That being said, the season hasn't been completely without its bright spots. Guardians of the Galaxy made a surprising $94 million this past weekend, and other substantial hits have included titles like Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past, Robert Stromberg's Maleficent and Phil Lord and Chris Miller's 22 Jump Street. In comparison to this summer's biggest hit so far, however, they pale in comparison - as do all of the other movies released so far in 2014.
Box Office Mojo's calculations have revealed that Michael Bay's Transformers: Age of Extinction has become the first film of the year to make more than $1 billion at the global box office. The statistics show that the movie has made $241 million to date here in the United States, but a much bigger $763 million overseas. The sequel is the second in the franchise to reach the billion dollar level, the other being 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The second highest-grossing worldwide film so far in 2014 is the aforementioned X-Men: Days of Future Past, but that feature has only made $739 million so far.
While making more than a billion worldwide is certainly an impressive feat, the latest installment in the Michael Bay-helmed series is weirdly somewhat under-performing here in the United States. The current $241 million total currently ranks Transformers: Age of Extinction in fourth place compared to the previous three installments. It's closest competition, the first Transformers in 2007, made $319 million before it finished its run in the US.
The international numbers, of course, are a completely different story. Transformers: Age of Extinction has made more than $300 million in China alone, with other big hot spots including Russia ($44 million), South Korea ($43 million) Mexico ($30 million), the United Kingdom ($29 million), Australia ($24 million), Germany ($23 million), and Brazil ($22 million). Big flashy, nonsensical action films with lots of explosions tend to do very well overseas (ex. check the numbers of the Resident Evil franchise), and Transformers is no exemption.
So what does this success mean? If you guessed "more Transformers movies," then you are absolutely right. Paramount has already announced that there are plans to have a Transformers 5 in theaters for 2016 - but any details beyond that are a complete mystery. Presumably the franchise will continue with its new cast of characters, but I wouldn't be too shocked if they met up with the old cast at some point down the line.
Now is as good a time as any to reflect on the Transformers franchise, because these kinds of box office numbers send a message to the studio that audiences just want more of the same. Is that the case? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.