The fourth film in the “Transformers” franchise, “Age of Extinction,” came in first place in the box office this weekend, earning $100 million as the year’s highest-grossing debut so far. Overseas, the film’s made $201.3 million, earning a global total of $301.3 million to date. Not bad for a film that cost $210 million to make… or a film series that’s probably the most heavily criticized and disliked franchise around.
Since the first film in the series, “Transformers” has been subject to nonstop criticism from just about everyone online and offline. “Transformers 4″”s Rotten Tomatoes rating currently stands at 17% (audience rating is 62%, however…). Even “Man of Steel” (with a 55% Rotten Tomatoes “rotten” rating) has more fans than the “Transformers” franchise, and that film was polarizing at best. So I have to ask, why does this series of films make such gigantic sums of money if it seems so heavily disliked? Teenagers? People that don’t care about things like reviews, or anything other than explosive special effects? People with no nostalgia for a toy line/animated series originally made 30 years ago?
I haven’t seen any of the “Transformers” films, so I have no idea how bad they supposedly are. I also don’t have a strong nostalgia for the franchise itself—I played with a few of the toys as a kid and saw the 80s “Transformers” cartoon, but otherwise not thought much about it since… until the spate of 2000s nostalgia for it emerged (and every third webcomic referencing the toys/movies).
In other news not involving giant shape-shifting robots, “How to Train Your Dragon 2” came in third at the box office, with $13.1 million. So far, it’s earned $121.8 million domestically and $106.1 million overseas, for a global total to date of $227.9 million.
In fifth place is “Maleficent,” which earned $8.2 million, for a domestic total of $201.9 million and an overseas total of $383.7 million, for a global total of $585.6 million.
In ninth place is “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” which made $3.3 million. Its domestic total stands at $223.4 million, while its international total stands at $489.3 million, for a global total of $712.7 million.
Elsewhere, “Amazing Spider-Man 2” finally crossed $200 million domestically, while “Godzilla” is a few million away from that mark.
Next week sees a few new films opening: an R-rated comedy (“Tammy”), a horror film (“Deliver Us From Evil”), and a family adventure film (“Earth to Echo”). I’m guessing with the Fourth of July weekend, the hated-by-many-but-made-metric-tons-of-cash-anyway shapeshifting-giant-robots won’t have anything to worry about…