It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for, Edgar Wright fans: did the filmmaker’s action-packed Baby Driver score big with audiences? Or does this weekend belong to sequels, sequels, and more sequels? This weekend was always going to belong to Despicable Me 3— it’s a big hit with the kiddos, don’t you know— but there’s definitely some room for optimism in how the rest of the weekend Top 10 shook out. Here’s the numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
Have you ever seen those movie ads on TV filled with gushing quotes from critics and thought to yourself, “I saw that movie; it was terrible. Where did they find these positive reviews?” If you have, you’re not alone — and you’re going to love ScreenCrush’s series, Critics Are Raving!, which balances the cinematic scales with trailers full of slightly more accurate (and slightly more negative) lines from reviews. Real critics. Real quotes. Really bad movies. That’s what’s Critics Are Raving! is all about.
Another weekend, another Weekend Box Office Report! While it won’t surprise you to find out that Michael Bay’s latest episode of Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots won the weekend, the specifics of that win come with enough asterisks to make even Barry Bonds blush. It was a terrible weekend for Transformers: The Last Knight one on continent and a record-breaking opening on another, which just goes to show how confusing this whole box office thing can be at times. Here’s the projected numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
If I had to pick the most egregious example of product placement ever, I would nominate the scene from Transformers: Age of Extinction, when the entire movie stops to examine the wreckage of a crash involving an alien spaceship and a Bud Light truck. The camera pans across a street littered with Bud Light bottles; then Mark Wahlberg picks one up, cracks it open, and takes a healthy swig. And while he’s shilling beer, there’s a second product placement in the background; just over his shoulder, very much in focus, is a giant Goodyear Tires sign.
For all intents and purposes, every sign points to Michael Bay and the Transformers series going their separate ways after The Last Knight. Bay even wrote a goodbye letter to the franchise thanking everyone involved for five movies’ worth of explosions, robots fighting each other, and female characters introduced from the legs up. But there’s one person who thinks he might be faking it.
The new Transformers movie is all about buried secrets. Texan Bostonian inventor bro Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) and brainy Oxford professor Vivian Frumplebumple (okay I admit it: I didn’t catch her last name so I made that up) discover a world they never knew: The hidden history of Transformers on Earth. It turns out the Transformers have played a role in every armed conflict throughout time. The Transformers helped King Arthur, and they threw an assist to the Allies during World War II. There’s more to meets the eye in those history books, doncha know.
Has any franchise ever been more successful and less beloved than Transformers? Even before this week’s release of Transformers: The Last Knight, the series had made almost $3.8 billion worldwide, despite an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 32 and three straight sequels that run the gamut from “kind of crummy” to “possibly the actual worst mega-budget blockbuster ever made.”
You know the Transformers series, which unveils its fifth film, The Last Knight, later this week. But did you know that the franchise largely exists because of the war in Iraq? It’s true; producer Don Murphy originally pitched Hasbro on making a G.I. Joe film series, but because of the political climate in the early 2003 after 9/11, they were hesitant and suggested Murphy instead devote his energies to the Transformers. Hasbro did eventually make two big-budget G.I. Joes, but only after the Transformers became a massive success with Paramount and DreamWorks. That’s just one of the facts featured in the latest installment of You Think You Know Movies!
You would think that after five attempts, Michael Bay would eventually figure out how to make a coherent Transformers movie. Apparently not. I challenge anyone — including this film’s four writers — to explain the story of Transformers: The Last Knight, how the characters get from point A to point B, and why any of it matters. I maintain that it cannot be done. Either this movie is dumb or I am.