Comics Creators

Box Office Mojo


Does it though? I mean, let’s be honest, it’s a nostalgia-fueled franchise of an 80’s toy line… It’s pretty amazing they’ve done as well as they have.


The Transformers franchise has performed consistently for nearly 40 years in different media forms including toys. How many franchises can you say that about never mind toy franchises? It’s popularity is not based on nostalgia at all, my nephews love them as much as i did at their age.


Well, they’re not nostalgia driven NOW, because of the new movies… I meant when the 1st one came out, were there that many kids at the time who were massive fans, or even knew what it was?

As for similarly performing franchises, there’s quite a few actually, TMNT being one. And the new movies were probably worse.

I mean, in the end, it’s okay if you’re a fan… I was a fan of Thundercats when I was young, and I’d sure love to see a (good) movie about it, but if I’m being honest, it’s really because of nostalgia. Same goes for Masters of the Universe.


Here’s a list of Transformers cartoons. I imagine that about 80% of these were aired after you stopped watching kids TV as a kid. Transformers never went away.


Okay fine then, it’s a wonderful franchise that deserves “better” somehow, even though it’s made billions upon billions, so clearly someone is enjoying them, I’d bet on kids, because I doubt they care about plot finesse and are quite happy with the giant robots and action and explosions, etc…


I think you are getting myself and Vikram wrong here, it’s not about explosions and money, Transformers has a really rich history in terms of character and story which the movies have neglected a fair bit, that’s what I believe Vikram was trying to put across.


Yes, and what I’m perphaps badly trying to put accross is that, sure, that’s what Transformers mean to you, who’s old enought to even know about that rich history. The Transformers movies are clearly aimed at kids, and have done well enough. People who complain about them are adults and adult fans.

Don’t your nephews love the movies? Or do they also think they neglect that rich history? If your nephews (or kid in general) enjoy the movies, then they’ve done a good job with the franchise, and I don’t see how the “they deserve better” argument can be made, except from the POV of an old fart, fan of the franchise.

So my point was: Can you really say, objectively, they deserve better than the humongous popularity and succes the franchise has enjoyed in the past decade?


Yes. Because the films are shit. The fact that they are still making billions of dollars doesn’t change that fact. You can make a decent Transformers film without it stinking - the rich, storied history of the franchise proves that. I’m not sure why that sentiment deserves the snark, Jacowboy. Respecting your audience - whether they are 4 or 40, it shouldn’t matter - isn’t too much to ask for, is it?


The IDW Transformers comics are the equal of the Guardians comics run from 2008. Superior in places actually. Not that the run would ever be adapted into a movie, but the robots have great individual personalities and backstories that would merit adaptation. In the current movies all that is lost - the robots have no personality at all. That’s why they deserve batter - the fictional counterparts are the equal of anything DC or Marvel have ever produced.


You guys seem to be having two different discussions here. One about quality, one about commerce.

I side with Jacowboy—it’s pretty hard to imagine a Transformers film franchise actually performing better than this one has. The whole idea of a live-action Transformers movie seemed ridiculous at the time and it’s easy to imagine the attempt going the way of the G.I.Joe films. Instead it went the other way.

The “Transformers deserve better” argument is probably fair if you’re a longtime fan of the property, but in Jacowboy’s defense this is the box office thread.


It’s not about doing better (almost impossible) but it is about stopping the bleeding (a necessity). The franchise has done well in pop culture for 40 years, only the Turtles, Star Wars, Marvel and DC are that equal. It clearly resonates with the public, and should continue to do so.


I don’t have fairer arguments than those posted.


But the “bleeding” seems to be more of a natural attrition, tbh… they’re on the 5th or 6th movie, it’s only normal it’s losing some of its appeal.

And, no I’m not being snarky or taking a shit on your childhoods, I mean, I did have some OG toys and I loved them (I had at least OG Optimus, bumblebee, the decepticon Jet and the green & blue consturction set that made a big robot, at least), but tbh honest, oustide of the cool toys I was never very much into the story, be it cartoons or comicbooks, even less so that MotU or Thundercats… but it’s the same deal, those toy-spawned franchises aren’t quite the same as comicbook-spawned franchises.

And yeah sure, every movie “deserves better” when you think about it in those terms, however, the Transformers have done very well, even thoguh you might not lke them. I could sit here and shit on every single kid-oriented animated movie (or otherwise) but that’d be silly because I’m obviously not the target.

Hell, I’m not necessarily happy with what they’ve done to the GotG in the movies, when compared to the books, but I’m happy that they’re getting some attention none-the-less… But I could also argue they deserve better and you’d look at me as if I was crazy :smile:


Kind of. He got a bunch of investors to, uh, well, invest in the movie.

And apparently it all worked out very well for him, which, yeah, great. But this kind of thing always gives me nightmare flashbacks of Terry Gilliam showing a bunch of potential investors around the set of “The Man Who Killed Don Quichote” trying to scrape together just a little more financing for a movie whose unexpected costs were killing it. Like a used-car salesman who knew he had to make this one deal or lose it all. Which of course he did.


It’s how most movies are made though. The idea of one investor, an individual or a corporation, is really a rare thing. Even the big studios co-produce with each other and with finance companies like Legendary, and they weren’t the first.

Producers raise finance from as many places as it takes and sometimes it falls apart and they have to try to rescue it.


Having seen all of them except for the moon one, I can say that this new film isn’t really any better or worse than the others. It’s likely just fatigue or attrition, as Jacowboy suggests.

The franchise was largely in the right place at the right time. It had a director who was ahead of the curve in appealing to the global market and particularly the growth in China. They took advantage of 3D and HD technology as it grew (say what you will about the ugly design of the robots, they are tailor-made to show off your new 50" HDTV).

Ultimately Bay and Spielberg and the producers were savvy enough to ride some trends on the way up. Now that those trends have hit a plateau, people are starting to notice the seams in the actual movies.


Spielberg can move on, he’s a respected filmmaker and he can do whatever he wants.

Bay can also, if he wishes, move on. He’s said he wants to after every film so far, but he likes his job and I’m sure he likes the money. He’d be taking a chance to ditch this franchise. He might not find another one.

Paramount though, need this. They’re a troubled company and this is one of the bright spots on they balance sheet. Until they find a replacement, they’ll keep trying to fix the series itself.

So Bay can more or less right his own pay check. If he’s willing to stay a little longer.


Yeah there’s no way Paramount will let the franchise die. It’d be like stopping the Marvel or DC franchises. They have to reboot in some way.

I can see why the LOTR franchise ended (but I’m sure they’d do anything to keep it going). Harry Potter has new life. I imagine there’s plans to reboot Pirates. Transformers is easily rebooted, and I’m not sure that people are tired of them in general or just tired of Bayformers. The toys have lasted 40 years with continual reinvention, the movies could do the same.


Yeah I think with any if these properties they’ll keep on until they are truly dead in the water. Even if one truly flops they’ll try and reboot it at least once. We’ve seen how Fox won’t give over FF even though it’s had two ‘okay’ performing films and one absolute bomb.

Transformers has made a lot of money over 4 installments, this one looks like it could be around a ‘break even’ level (it’s at just over double the budget but is still on release). It’ll be a huge disappointment for them but we’ll definitely see another one, they’ll need to mix up the formula a little.


They had King Arthur and a robot ninja butler. The formula is already pretty mixed. :wink:

A bit of sanity and honest emotion would be appreciated.

Without ditching the explosions, well not all of them anyway.