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Michael Bay’s Transformers movies are a bold contradiction. The movies make money – often lots of money. But it’s tough to find anyone who truly loves these films. How is that possible?
The most recent Michael Bay effort, Transformers: Age of Extinction, continues this bizarre trend. The fourth film in the powerful franchise announced an estimated $100 million opening weekend (we’ll see if that number holds once Actuals are reported). But it’s boasting a putrid 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest grade of the entire series. Even the nonsensical Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which was damaged by a writers’ strike, has 19% Fresh. That’s bad.
However, it’s exactly how Michael Bay wants it. The director spoke with MTV about the criticisms hurled at his Transformers movies, and admitted that he used to get bothered by the negative reactions to his films, but now he encourages the "dialogue." Bay said:
"They love to hate, and I don’t care; let them hate. They’re still going to see the movie! I think it’s good to get a little tension. Very good. I used to get bothered by it. But I think it’s good to get the dialogue going. It makes me think, and it keeps me on my toes, so it’s good."
Was Michael Bay sitting on a pile of money and explosions while he gave that juicy quote? Watch for yourself and see!
Bay is right, to a certain extent. While Transformers: Age of Extinction posted historically bad reviews (at least as far as this franchise goes), it still earned plenty of money. Maybe it’s on track to earn less than its predecessors over time. But Age of Extinction is the FIRST movie to post a $l00-million weekend (if that holds), so yes, people still came to see the movie. And Bay – as well as Paramount – know that the bread of this franchise will be buttered in the international markets. So those global numbers will be the most important figures to track.
Will we eventually get to that Transformers 5 that Paramount wants to release in 2016? That remains to be seen. But if Michael Bay builds it, history proves that people will come… whether they like it or not.