Box Office Outlook: Transformers IV
Transformers IV poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published June 26, 2014
I’m thinking $250 - 270 million domestic cume, with strong overseas numbers as usual.
I never miss an opportunity to trash Mike Bay. He is kind of a cultural revolutionary. Yes, the man who treats our collective fantasies like a port-a-potty at the largest outdoor rave known to man. Rodney Dangerfield talked about getting no respect; Michael Bay gives no respect…and that’s why I respect him. He truly does not give a crap what the audience thinks of him or his “art.” He just wants butts in the seats and big money checks shoved down his pants. Now Michael is about to take his fourth stab at making a watchable movie about giant robots who piss oil all over suburban houses. As a sequel to the heart-warming classic, Dark of the Moon, I don’t see how Age of Extinction could fail artistically. It’s going to have the humor, pathos, gravitas, bravura performances, and Oscar-level screenplay work of the three previous CGI gang-bangs.

The world waits on Michael Bay films like you would wait for a Pop-Tart out of a toaster: you know it might not be the most nutritious delicacy, but you know it will give you that sugar rush and momentary satisfaction before you get back to your life of arguing with your cat or whatever it is that you do. What I’m really trying to say is, this movie will make $100 million dollars opening weekend. That’s according to professional tracking, not another in my long line of failed, over-inflated, non-professional box office yammerings. It will make this much money because the public is the public. The public is called by that term because in private, they are laughed at by people like Michael May… and maybe even by Marky Mark.

Will this thing drop off like a rock after opening weekend ala TASM2? Possibly. Like any film, if people consider it “good” (that’s not going to happen), it could have strong legs like a West African distance runner. But we know that the fan-boys are going to pile into this thing, hoping against hope that their money will be well spent, and their geeky grey matter will be well-utilized via the cinema screen. Of course, they will be disappointed much like the last 92 times they’ve been to any film…Bay joints included. They will then un-pile from the theaters, immediately jabbering with their fat friend about how it didn’t live up to their hot-headed expectations, and how Revenge of the Fallen was so much sweeter. They will then finally get home and start feeding the blogosphere with their cutesy, manchildy comments about how it could’ve been so much cooler if only for blah, blah, blah. And also, Michael Bay, how come you didn’t use that one transformer that I had a toy of as a kid that I was looking at during my first masturbation experience?

So with the $100 million opening weekend, a well-received film would make $300+ million domestic cume. But since we know that this movie will be a grave offensive to anybody with eyes and ears, I have to lean on the mid-$200 range; people are going to be hating on this flick like you wouldn’t believe. It goes to an interesting phenomenon we’re seeing in 2014: there is no clear box office powerhouse dominating the screens this summer. The season peaked early in April with Captain America 2’s release. It set a tone in both artistic quality and box office strength that hasn’t been matched in the months since. Seems like summer is coming earlier every year.

While Transformers will probably overtake X-Men, it will not be the $400 million mega-beast that it would hope to be. The theaters want this too: more popcorn sales for them. Is the audience getting more discerning? Does quality actually still matter? These are things to ponder late-night when you’ve run out of weed and all your friends have abandoned you. Let’s not get into the hot chicks of which you are not in possession of. I’m thinking $250 - 270 million domestic cume, with strong overseas numbers as usual. They’re going to eat this shit up in China. The rest of the world is more sophisticated than America in many ways, but when it comes to moviegoing habits, they still have a lot of room to grow. They eat up both the garbage and the quality offerings with equal aplomb.

I don’t think I can bring myself to suffer through this artistic achievement in theaters. But since you might go check it out, I urge you to be courteous to your fellow theater-goers, polite to the parking attendant, and don’t say anything negative if you manage to land a date who can stand your company for multiple hours in a row. Bay films will live forever.
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