To be honest, I’m not sure if the image above really is from "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction." I just took the first image I could find. I mean, it doesn’t really matter does it? Aren’t all those Transformers films exactly alike? Just a bunch of cartoonish giant robots, smashing against each other, and destroying cities with thousands of deaths and causalities that no one seems to notice or mention.
Except this new one is longer, clocking in at just under 3 hours, and impossibly even louder, relentless and frantic than any of the previous films in the franchise. It’s so tirelessly hectic, busy and mind numbing that your eyes and ears will bleed, as it practically sends you to the insane asylum. They all make a ton of money, but, for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Who likes these films except for 8 year old boys off their Ritalin? Or, as a friend said to me yesterday when I told him that "Extinction" was heading for a $100 million opening: “What is wrong with people?”
And the sad thing is that, if you like action movies, there’s a really great one that also opened Friday with no fanfare - "Snowpiercer" by Korean director Bong Joon-ho ("The Host," "Mother"). If you haven’t heard of it, it’s not your fault. The Weinstein Company barely released it anywhere (it's on only 8 screens so far) and basically buried it when they gave in to the director’s demand to release his original 126-minute cut, instead of their butchered version, which was 20 minutes shorter.
And if you’re in the mood for some really, over the top, brutal, relentless action, there’s" The Raid 2: Redemption," which has some of the most jaw-dropping action sequences ever, and without the use of CGI. It came out earlier this year, but not many people saw.
But "Transformers" baffles me. Everybody complains, and rightly so, that Michael Bay is terrible director, but he’s laughing all the way to the bank. So what's the deal with these films? And don’t tell me it's because you grew up with them as a kid. It can’t be that simple.
But now that I got that off my chest (and feel free to rant) yes, "Transformers 4: Age of Extinction" had the biggest opening so far this year for any film, with $100 million (add another $80 million from overseas box office, to date). But other films have opened up to much bigger weekend numbers, such as "The Avengers," "Iron Man 3," "The Hunger Game" movies, and "Harry Potter," among many others. And the fact that "Transformers" is the largest opening of the year is a clear indication of what many box office analysts have been saying: That overall, 2014 is shaping up to be a huge disappointment, in terms of box office, domestically, compared to previous years.
Last week’s No.1 film, "Think Like A Man Too," dropped 64% to 4th place with $10.4 million, meaning that the film has no chance of coming close to the previous $92 million take of the first TLAM.
And just to show you how much I know, I told someone a few months ago that I thought "Maleficent" would be the box office bomb of the summer. At almost $202 million domestically, it looks like I was just slightly off target.