The globally popular Transformers franchise, which used to be a celebrated phenomenon, has now been reduced to the embers of a dying flame, and Michael Bay has unanimously been deemed the culprit behind the infamous fall of the once-beloved film series. The previous films – which fell prey to the filmmaker’s half-hearted efforts and bleakly unoriginal storylines – weren’t the only projects that suffered though; even the latest entry in the series, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, came close to witnessing the throes of Bay’s sapped creativity.
If only he would’ve heeded Steven Spielberg’s advice and stopped making Transformers movies when the time was right.
Michael Bay & His Artistic Shortcomings
The seventh and most recent installment in the action/sci-fi series, though fell short of box-office expectations and left critics polarized, was hailed immensely by fans with some even touting it as the best Transformers outing yet.
Besides alien robots thrashing each other, one of the most thrilling factors of the film that seemed to appeal to more or less everyone was the jaw-dropping ending that laid the basis for a major crossover in upcoming projects. Micheal Bay, however, was strictly against the idea of G.I. Joe entering the cinematic universe of the Transformers, so much so that he practically vetoed it altogether.
His apprehensions didn’t stem from a collective concern about the franchise though. No, he wasn’t thinking how it would affect the future of the series, he just feared that G.I. Joe x Transformers conflation would overshadow the previous films and their value would ultimately dwindle. In light of the same, the 58-year-old director tried his level best to stop the crossover, and that included pestering Paramount CEO Brian Robbins until he finally managed to get on board. In his recent interview with Variety, the latter reflected on the same –
“I called him 50 times. I would not let him off the hook. And when he finally stopped dodging my calls, we got him to sign off.”
Even so, Rise of the Beasts wasn’t particularly a grand slam, not in the least.
Rise of the Beasts Fell Prey to A Poor Box Office Run
Helmed by Steven Caple Jr., the live-action based on Hasbro’s toy line, collapsed at the box office after a so-so June premiere. After accruing just shy of $380 million in its global earnings during the first four weeks of its theatrical run, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts barely managed to hit the $400 million mark. And it only gets worse when you take the pricey production expenses of about $200 million into account.
With a disappointing total of just under $430 million, Rise of the Beasts – which was barred from the $500 mil club – has been crowned as the lowest-grossing Transformers film in the entirety of the franchise. Even 2018’s Bumblebee, which raked in relatively meager numbers, managed to fare better than the most recent installment, which begs the question – what does the future of the Transformers behold?
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts can be streamed on Paramount+ or can be rented/purchased on Apple TV+.