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@  wonko the sane? : (22 September 2018 - 01:53 PM)

So apparently some models of air-conditioner are on trays inside the case, so they can be removed for easy access to the internals. I did not know that two hours ago: and have since cleaned three. It's been a learning kind of day.

@  PlutoniumBoss : (22 September 2018 - 09:15 AM)

There's probably been a Pokedex-themed 3DS cover.

@  Noideaforaname : (21 September 2018 - 04:34 PM)

I still got that Pikachu Edition Gameboy Color from back in the day. Yellow and Blue and with Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Togepi on the screen.

@  wonko the sane? : (21 September 2018 - 04:30 PM)

Quote of the day: I either need bourbon or aspirin, and I'm pretty sure the liquor cabinet is closer than the medicine chest.

@  TM2-Megatron : (21 September 2018 - 02:38 PM)

I don't recall any Pokedex themed DS or Game Boy, but plenty of Pokemon-themed ones. My favourite, and the one I've got myself, was the Pokemon Red/Blue themed 3DS with the swappable faceplates that came out around the time the original games were made available via digital download

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (21 September 2018 - 02:30 PM)

I'm fairly certain Nintendo has done Pokéball red and white, but I don't know about specific Pokédex colors.

@  Paladin : (21 September 2018 - 11:10 AM)

random thought: has Nintendo ever made a 3DS that looks like a Pokedex? because that seems like a GOLDMINE waiting to happen...

@  Nevermore : (21 September 2018 - 03:23 AM)

Wiigii! Titans Return Grotusque for only 60 Euros (actually 70 but I somehow had an eBay gift card for reasons that escape me) with free shipping from within my own country!

@  Whirl Maximus : (21 September 2018 - 03:02 AM)

That was the plan for Predators too with the Super Predators.

@  Waspinator : (21 September 2018 - 01:46 AM)

So, apparently in the new Predator movie, the Predators don't hunt us for honor or the challenge or anything like that, but because they're stealing human DNA to modify themselves. Congrats Hollywood, on making a monster far less cool and scary.

@  Pennpenn : (20 September 2018 - 08:46 AM)

I only started playing it recently so I don't know what it was like before. Actually surprised they haven't finished the story yet. Then again, unless they introduce another world it's pretty much just Maleficent and whatever the Foretellers are playing at left.

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (20 September 2018 - 08:30 AM)

Geeze.. I reloaded up Kingdom Hearts X for the first time in a long time. That game has massivily inflated from when I played it when it first launced in the US.

@  Pennpenn : (19 September 2018 - 09:07 AM)

It's an annoying thing to have happen in any game. I'm hoping they actually finish releasing all the story mode parts before 3 comes out.

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (19 September 2018 - 06:24 AM)

Ahh. Hadn't played that in a long time.. Since before the PVP I think.

@  Pennpenn : (19 September 2018 - 04:33 AM)

Kingdom Hearts Union Cross. Specifically the PVP fights.

@  Tm_Silverclaw : (19 September 2018 - 04:31 AM)

What game PennPenn

@  Pennpenn : (19 September 2018 - 03:13 AM)

Man, I love it when you've got limited attempts at something in a game, said game crashes at the end of the thing, so you lose the attempt but don't get any credit.

@  wonko the sane? : (18 September 2018 - 08:44 PM)

I know. I'm back to the classic purple for the first time since the comic theme was introduced.

@  Fenix Twilight : (18 September 2018 - 08:32 PM)

Alright thanks, gonna be weird without the speech bubble boxes but I'll manage.

@  wonko the sane? : (18 September 2018 - 07:59 PM)

Nope, ongoing problem for a bunch of us. The mods know, so... just hunker down and wait. In the mean time: changing themes will sort it out for a bit. Only the comic theme is affected.

@  Fenix Twilight : (18 September 2018 - 05:36 PM)

Is something going on? I'm missing the buttons to go to the newest post and there's no banner for the forum list, it just says "logo" in the corner.

@  TheMightyMol... : (18 September 2018 - 06:03 AM)

Leader-1!

@  Whirl Maximus : (18 September 2018 - 02:25 AM)

"huh?" 'chuckle' in every reaction shot. That's all I remember of Armada.

@  Paladin : (16 September 2018 - 07:36 PM)

if youre looking for sympathy its in the dictionary between shit & syphilis.

@  TheMightyMol... : (15 September 2018 - 03:10 PM)

Uuuhhhhhh.......

@  Rycochet : (15 September 2018 - 11:56 AM)

Due to it's concentrated lousiness, even small doses of Energon will age you, yes.

@  Lazy Garou : (15 September 2018 - 10:32 AM)

unicron trilogy video was great, but made me feel a hundred years old.

@  wonko the sane? : (12 September 2018 - 07:32 AM)

Awesome. Good job man.

@  Lazy Garou : (11 September 2018 - 09:30 PM)

cleaning up, mostly.but the little plastic piece where the power cable hooked up was broken. That I managed to put back together.

@  Patch : (11 September 2018 - 04:48 PM)

So he also has White Castle-like qualities?

@  TheMightyMol... : (11 September 2018 - 02:23 PM)

Just keep him away from the plumbing, he's really hard on the pipes.

@  RichardT1977 : (11 September 2018 - 01:22 PM)

Overlord has some castle-like qualities to him

@  wonko the sane? : (11 September 2018 - 12:15 PM)

Fix it, like, found a working power adaptor, or fix it like: there was saudering involved.

@  Lazy Garou : (11 September 2018 - 11:58 AM)

that feeling when you fix something and works like a dream. we now have a working snes in my house and I have tested 10 games on it and they all work.

@  Arazyr : (11 September 2018 - 10:44 AM)

...Now I want a Transformer that turns into a castle.

@  wonko the sane? : (11 September 2018 - 09:37 AM)

You should be careful man, lots of allsparkers life in castle law states. It's a good way to get shot you know.

@  ▲ndrusi : (11 September 2018 - 09:35 AM)

Which house? Mine? Dammit I thought I locked my door!

@  GrungeWerX : (11 September 2018 - 01:20 AM)

GrungeWerX in tha HOUSE!!! WOOT!!

@  TM2-Megatron : (10 September 2018 - 11:54 PM)

There's been consistently good sc-fi flicks; most just fly under the radar as lower-budget or indie pictures

@  Steevy Maximus : (10 September 2018 - 09:28 PM)

If you can forget about that garbage Ghost in the Shell feature...

@  Steevy Maximus : (10 September 2018 - 09:27 PM)

Upgrade is a GREAT dark sci fi throwback film. Kind of feels like the genre has been nailing some good stuff after a LONG time of drek

@  Sabrblade : (10 September 2018 - 06:34 PM)

Hey, Steve is a Vehicon!

@  abates : (10 September 2018 - 04:44 PM)

I thought it was spelled "Stege".

@  Arazyr : (10 September 2018 - 02:10 PM)

So, "I before E, except after Siege"? :D

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (10 September 2018 - 01:59 PM)

Memorandum to all: the word "siege" is spelled with the "i" before the "e".

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (08 September 2018 - 12:55 PM)

Happy birthday to Star Trek and Star Trek: The Animated Series!

@  MEDdMI : (08 September 2018 - 07:55 AM)

*smacks TMM upside the head*

@  TheMightyMol... : (08 September 2018 - 02:51 AM)

& Knuckles.

@  Pennpenn : (07 September 2018 - 11:01 PM)

Re: Coded?

@  Waspinator : (07 September 2018 - 09:14 PM)

Final Fantasy: The Movie: The Game: Pocket Edition HD Boogaloo


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Transformers movie franchise future thread

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#1 2018

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 04:17 AM

So I thought it'd be best to have a general topic outside the discussion of the films themselves for speculation and news about how Transformers movies are doing financially, and what that could mean for future installments. You know, so people who actually want to focus on the plot and stuff don't get sidetracked by it. That said if the mods think it belongs in one of the two TF5 threads, feel free to shunt it in.

 

So first of is this from Forbes on the 25th:

 

'Transformers 5' Is One Of The Worst-Performing Sequels In Modern Hollywood History

Movie industry analysts have taken to calling Transformers: The Last Knight the worst performer of the entire 5-movie Transformers franchise.

They are being far too kind.

Yes, it’s true that The Last Knight has vastly underperformed relative to the previous four Transformers installments. But why stop the comparison there? That’s like saying that Donald Trump is the worst president of the past six months. There is so much history to consider, so many comparisons to be made. Let’s call the thing what it is: one of the poorest performing sequels in the modern history of big-budget Hollywood movies. It has earned its place on the Mount Rushmore of movie mediocrity.

By 'poorest performing,' what I mean is that the opening weekend--or in this case, 5-day opening--of Last Knight dropped off by a larger percentage from its franchise predecessor than any other sequel I've been able to find with the exception of Alice Through the Looking Glass, which fell by a staggering 73% last year compared to Alice in WonderlandLast Knight has unfortunately become one of the very worst performing sequels in history.

How can I make such a grand assertion as that? Well I’ve combed through hundreds of sequels from the past four decades, scanned the various box office websites, and conducted hours and hours of analysis in the attempt to find film sequels that had domestic opening 5-day box office totals that were worse, relative to their franchise predecessor, than Transformers: The Last Knight. It seems that only the Alice sequel exceeded the 56% drop that Last Knight suffered compared to Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Dark of the Moon had a $157.1 million 5-day opening, compared to The Last Knight’s projected $69 million 5-day debut.

Now if you’ve been paying close attention you might protest that Dark of the Moon was not the immediate predecessor to The Last Knight, it was Transformers: Age of Extinction (by the way, how’s that for a prescient title?) that preceded the current Transformers release. To which I would reply yes, correct, but Age of Extinction had a traditional 3-day weekend opening with its start on Friday, not the 5-day, Wednesday opener that Last Knight had. I'm comparing apples-to-apples here, so for purposes of comparison I went with the previous 5-day opener in the Transformers series, Age of Extinction.

Even if we bend the rules and compare Last Knight's Wednesday through Sunday with Age of Extinction's Friday through Tuesday debut, we still get a terrible drop of 43%.

To be clear, Transformers 5 is not only about its domestic numbers: the overseas market is actually far more important to the film's success, and so far it's performing better internationally than it is at home. But it will take a stellar overseas run for the film to make up for its shoddy North American start, and it's not at all certain that foreign will fill the vacuum. In China, for instance, The Last Knight has opened well relative to other films, but not relative to the expectations that had been set for its own performance. Given the growth of the Chinese market over the past several years, Last Knight ought to have out-grossed Age of Extinction by at least 50% for a $480 million PRC total, but it looks now like it will probably underperform its predecessor by around 10%, with a $275 million China tally at best. That's an enormous gap that will seriously harm the franchise's future prospects.

It's conventional wisdom in Hollywood that as a franchise ages, the sequels tend to drop off from their predecessors, and that's often true. But it's far from a hard rule. Some franchises go through ups and downs, such as the X-Men series, which fell off 27% from the second film (The Last Stand) to the third (Wolverine), and 31% more from the third to the fourth (First Class), only to jump by 81% for the debut of the next sequel, Days of Future Past. Others, like the Twilight films, remain remarkably steady, with a 4% drop from the first to the second entry, and then a 1% increase for the third film and 2.5% for the fourth. Interestingly, among the scores of sequels I examined, the median delta was actually a 1.5% increase from one franchise film to the next.

I also spotted a few massive gainers, a phenomenon that typically, but not always, happens between the first film in a franchise and the second. The first Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, Dead Man's Chest, gained a whopping 140% on its predecessor, and The Dark Knight did even better, increasing 180% over Batman Begins.

I expect there may be an even worse performing sequel than Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Last Knight out there in history, but prior to around 1980 the data on movie opening weekends tends to get pretty sparse. The Exorcist II may well be a contender for the title of worst ever, but I haven't been able to find enough box office information on the first Exorcist film to make a proper comparison. Others come close, like Evan Almighty, which plummeted 48% from Bruce Almighty back in 2007.

The investors, filmmakers, and distributors of Transformers: The Last Knight are undoubtedly feeling shell-shocked at the moment, but they can take solace in the truth that it's possible for a franchise to come back from seemingly certain death. It may surprise you that the biggest turnaround I've found occurred with one of the biggest franchises Hollywood has ever seen. Back in 2006 it looked like the Fast and Furious franchise was finished after Tokyo Drift lost all of the series' major stars and suffered a 50% drop compared to the debut of 2 Fast 2 Furious. But 3 years later Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and company came back (including, incidentally, Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot) and the franchise roared back as Fast and Furious notched a 177% improvement over Tokyo Drift.

Correction: The headline and text of this article have been revised to reflect the 73% 5-day opening drop experienced by Alice Through The Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Thanks go to Forbes box office expert Scott Mendelson for his keen eye.

 

And then from Box Office Mojo:

 

 

'Transformers 5' Opens with Franchise Low as 'Wonder Woman' Surpasses 'Batman v Superman' Domestically

Paramount's Transformers: The Last Knight took the #1 spot this weekend as expected, but that opening was the lowest the franchise has seen thus far by a rather significant margin as a lot of attention will now turn toward the film's international run. Meanwhile, WB's Wonder Woman is still tearing up the box office as it has now become the highest grossing release within the DC Extended Universe and it is showing little sign of stopping.

Only one of the previous four Transformers features opened on a Wednesday and that was 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the third feature in the now five-film franchise, and it debuted with $162.6 million over its first five days in release, $97.8 million of that from the three-day weekend. By contrast, Transformers: The Last Knight brought in a mere $69.1 million over its first five days in release, an estimated $45.3 million of which over the three-day weekend. While this is relatively on par with the $70 million industry expectations, it puts added pressure on the $217 million production's international run.

As for that run, Last Knight kicked things off in 41 international markets with an estimated $196.2 million led by $123.4 million from China alone, the largest opening for a Transformers film in that market. Additionally, openings include Korea ($13m), Russia ($8.9m), United Kingdom ($5.7m), Germany ($4.7m), Taiwan ($4.1m), Australia ($3.6m), Philippines ($3.3m), Malaysia ($2.8m), Thailand ($2.8m), Hong Kong ($2.5m), Singapore ($2.2m) and Italy ($1.9m). While that China opening may be a franchise high, topping Transformers: Age of Extinction by more than $30 million, the other numbers aren't as impressive.

Before going on to gross over $858 million internationally, Transformers: Age of Extinction opened with $15.8 million in Korea, over $20 million in both Russia and the UK, $11.1 million in Germany, $8.3 million in Australia and so on. With the domestic run looking to finish somewhere around $130 million or so The Last Knight has a lot of work internationally yet to do. As for future releases, it will open in France next week, followed by July releases in Brazil and Mexico, with Japan and Spain premiering in early August.

Opening weekend demographics domestically show The Last Knight playing to an audience that was split 57% male versus 43% female and of that crowd, 29% were under the age of 18 and gave the film an "A" CinemaScore. Unfortunately, the 18-and-over crowd scored it a bit lower bringing the overall CinemaScore down to a "B+". Comparatively, only Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen scored below an "A-" when it too received a "B+" in 2009.

 

So, if we take these at face value, there's obviously been a shift in the success of the films. However it's not a super colossal failure, doom and gloom ruined forever scenario. Transformers is still a strong performer. There is a dip, but is it due to this film's specific approach to advertising, trailer content, word of mouth? Or is it a general franchise burnout that people have wondered about? I'm not really sure. Might be a question to come back to after the next film.

 

However it's also clear that the international performance is going to be important, perhaps more so than before. Will the next film be more oriented towards the Chinese market? Or will they not risk messing with the formula that China seems to like already?

 

Lots of questions, feel free to post new articles, theories, armchair film enthusiasts and opinions!

 

 


PM me if you're bored!


#2 HellCat

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 04:43 AM

At screening I went too, people lost interest more than once. Three teenagers walked out muttering the film was too long.

I really think it's because the films are just repeating themselves. People have seen this five times now and it's not like there's any real continuity like with Star Wars. Bay expects you to have forgotten what you saw 2-3 years ago each times.

#3 ZacWilliam1

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:01 AM

I think it has as much to do with the previous 4 movies as it does this one. Well at least the previous 3. You could see it build up more and more each time in popular culture and discussion of the film in mainstream. The prevailing popular opinion that they are garbage that people shouldn't support just kept growing and becoming more... prevailant.

When 5 was announced with the "writers room" and all my biggest fear was that they would manage to turn out an actually Great Awesome Movie for once and it would BOMB Hard anyway because of the built up bad opinion in the public space from the previous films. This did not actually happen. Instead they released a slightly improved film that had more plot, more lore, and less of the worst offensive crap from the previous films, but wasn't in any real way a very good, well edited, coherent, or well paced film despite that. So yeah "slightly improved, in some ways" isn't really a strong enough battering ram to break through the walls of public dislike and disdain that the previous films have built.

To be fair, something can be brain dead "garbage" and still be wildly popular and fun and looked forward to by the public, not getting the flak the TF films get. The Fast and the Furious franchise has achieved that. Though starting out as run of the mill garbagy action films they've transcended that by absolutely leaning HARD into the stupidly over the top crazy to the point where it just becomes the FUN-crazy sort of stupid. But TF did not do this (except maybe too briefly in that one Con Prison Release intro scene).

I think it shows that that kind of move could happen though. As much as my fear was we'd get a good film undone by the franchise reputation we could also under other creators get a good film that makes people say "Wow, you need to see this! It's actually a great Transformers film!"

I think at this point even great word of mouth wouldn't build the franchise back up in one movie, but it could set the popular feeling towards it on the right track again so that the film after that could be even bigger and better and more of a hit and so on. (Which is also kinda the track the Fast films took after 3 iirc)

ZacWilliam, of course first they have actually to make an honestly good, fun, widely enjoyable popular film...

Edited by ZacWilliam1, 28 June 2017 - 05:06 AM.

Ever wonder about the speed of Turbofoxes?
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#4 lastmaximal

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:05 AM

I think burnout may be a very real factor here, and not just within the movie's runtime itself (although that's also a definite factor). While the general design aesthetic has firmly entrenched itself with moviegoers, the general tone and style of the filmmaking is very much "the same film each time". Promotions, etc can really only do so much when what is being promoted has such an indelible stigma. Which is a shame, because there ARE improvements visible in TLK.

 

I'm sure bottom-feeders everywhere will take this as an opportunity to "I told you so" about their Geewunning and whatnot, just as more properly critical minds will see this as a sign of something that needs addressing. Not for the first time, I'm glad to be here where more of the latter are certain to articulate their responses.

 

I'm glad there's still a sizeable chunk of money in this pursuit. Hopefully the studio doesn't course-correct by pandering even MORE to China, but instead takes the opportunity to refine the product to the point where it manages to avoid treading the same indulgent ground as before.



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#5 Copper Bezel

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:07 AM

Yeah, I've said it elsewhere, but I really think the lack of any persistent hook or any sense of building on what's come before has to be contributing to that "fatigue" effect. You aren't waiting to find out what's going on with X character and Y character because X might well be reset and Y written out in favor of a new one.

If I'm honest with myself, that's why the movies lost me with DotM instead of RotF - DotM was a better movie, but it had a lot less to do with the movie it was a sequel to. Then AoE changed out damn near everyone.

The Forbes article makes that The Fast and the Furious comparison, but Transformers doesn't have a Vin Diesel for viewers to wait and see what they've been up to for the last two years. There's nothing to invest in, we're only waiting to find out what Bay's been up to and what neat action arrangements are on offer. And that seems like a different proposition than most franchises are offering, one that's a lot more prone to wearing out with time.

But it also seems like very good timing for the Bumblebee spinoff as a result.

Edited by Copper Bezel, 28 June 2017 - 05:13 AM.

Shouldn't gravity be doing something?
 
Of course there's a figure of Rodimus as some kind of animal girl. Why would I be surprised by this?

 


#6 lastmaximal

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:11 AM

Yeah, the Bumblebee spinoff and the supposed Transformers One are their best chances at esablishing a new tone and direction for the franchise. Timing is just right. 

 

I agree about the need for sequels to give us to invest in What Happens Next. The appeal of building on the previous film was strongest with ROTF, which is all the more tragic for having not used that to the fullest. Even still, anticipation was high not just because More Bayhem, but Prime's call to arms at the end of the first movie, Starscream escaping, etc. DOTM showed us the furthering of Sam's journey, and seemingly established that the Transformers were here to stay because their homeworld was "gone" gone. But that ended with most of our recognizable names dead and the humans pretty much heading off into the narrative and contract sunset.

 

After the slate-clearing of Trilogy 1 actors and robots alike, AOE really needed to give us something to invest in anew (as th first of a new story arc/trilogy) and further (as the fourth movie set in this universe), which it didn't do very much. New robot and human villains got killed, new Autobots are the same jerk with different body and without the same amount of G1 association the first recurring set had, new humans are interesting but diminished by Romeo and Juliet Laws and All Chinese People Know Kung Fu. TLK needed to carry more of it forward, but it lost all but one human, abandoned some ideas without explanation, and used most of the robots too little. At the end of it, all we've really got to look forward to is overarching plot-based. 


Edited by lastmaximal, 28 June 2017 - 05:35 AM.


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#7 ZacWilliam1

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:28 AM

I don't want to be a doomsayer but I think that Bumblebee movie is in a REALLY Bad position.

I think after this movie you are going to have 3 thoughts in the public mind that are each gonna turn off a different section of the market:

1) Transformers Movies are Terrible it's just more of the same junk, don't go see it.

2) This isn't a "real" Transformers movie it's just a dumb smaller kiddie spinoff without the giant over the top blockbuster SFX epic stuff, skip it Bro.

3) It's not even a Sequel to continue the story, it's just Prequel-backstory stuff for a robot who isn't even a character enough to care about in the main films, very skippable.

I think whatever its quality, those 3 factors make it super likely the BB film is given a big "NAH, WE PASS" by the movie going public and way under performs at the box office.

I think just about the only chance they have of changing that is an absolutely amazing trailer that shows this is something new and very different and fun and Very Different. I mean I think it would take a Thor: Ragnarok level trailer to get this film noticed in a meaningful way. I'd also consider severe visual redesigns. As far away from the Bay look as you can get and still have the public accept it as the same character in the past. Make the look of Bee tell th story that this is a new, different, better, refreshing take on TFs. Tonal changes in visuals as well as story.

-ZacWilliam, I'm not giving it great odds though, I think it'd take a lot of creativity, solid filmmaking and a very different fresh look and feel to make this stand out from its baggage in a good way and while I hope they can do it that seems a very tall order.

Edited by ZacWilliam1, 28 June 2017 - 05:32 AM.

Ever wonder about the speed of Turbofoxes?
Or the proverbial ailerons of Titanium Moosebots?

*Visit the one and only Cybertronic Bestiary.
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#8 lastmaximal

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:37 AM

Make him a Volkswagen and issue #2 is no longer going to be an issue, if all the reactions to the "set in the 80s" news are any indication. The fanboy sense of superiority to kiddie crap is vulnerable to it being THEIR kiddie crap.



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#9 ZacWilliam1

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 05:45 AM


It'd get old fanboy appreciation sure, but I was thinking at least as much of the general "action movie" guys who are there for the "epic badass robot fights and huge set-piece Bay-splosion action". The BB movie is supposedly gonna be smaller in scope and action and plot and that all is not gonna be their cuppa.

-ZacWilliam, honestly can't stop picturing the BB movie as Herbie the Love Bug with an occasional robot mode. (If only it could be that in a good way, not a bad one...)
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#10 Petes Robot Con

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:40 AM

My guess is Bumblebee and everything else Hasbro related is gonna get scrapped now. Look for a complete reboot for all their cinematic properties. It's all toxic now.

https://www.forbes.c...u/#37c6779b7543

#11 Powered Convoy

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:41 AM

https://www.forbes.c...u/#34e6d1c67543

 

 

If you’ve ever been the object of a sudden, unexpected romantic breakup or the victim of a nasty divorce, you may have an inkling of how Paramount and Michael Bay are feeling right now about China’s rapid turn of affections against them. For years their Transformers franchise was the undisputed champion at the Chinese box office, destroying all-time records like a giant robot wreaking havoc in a major metropolis. The PRC’s outpouring of love for the first four films was overwhelming, both in online discussion forums and, more importantly, at the multiplexes, where each successive picture gobbled up ever-increasing riches from moviegoers’ wallets.

China’s love became the sort of drug that Hollywood studio executives crave most: a powerfully heartfelt devotion accompanied by a seemingly endless flood of gifts like huge product placement contracts, merchandising bonanzas and a nearly $400 million box office guarantee for Transformers: The Last Knight. It ensured Paramount would clean up in China on this latest picture, regardless of actual attendance results at the Middle Kingdom's multiplexes. I heard one investor reportedly paid Paramount 100 million RMB (about $16 million) for a tiny 1% share of the film's profits.

But suddenly, as of this past weekend, it has become sadly apparent that China has dumped Michael Bay and Transformers like a smelly diaper on a hot day. The Last Knight may have had a promising weekend at $125 million, but that was like the break-up sex that precedes a changing of locks, dumping of possessions on the lawn and threatening letters from a divorce attorney. The grosses are fading fast, and far from the $400 million gross that could have been reasonably expected just a week ago, the film will ultimately turn over barely half that amount.

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'Transformers: The Last Knight' had just two relatively good days before it started fading fast.

It’s not just the quickly fading box office returns that underscore China’s dramatic spurning of director Bay’s bombastic vision. The social media commentary on the country’s movie review sites has been an unrelenting tide of vitriol, with scarcely a dissenting voice. Average ratings have fallen to 4.7 out of 10 on popular platforms like Douban.com, a nadir rarely seen for Hollywood movies. Many tweets and messages on Douban complain of boredom with The Last Knight, with the comment “Best 3-hour nap I’ve ever had” being a common refrain.

Others take umbrage at what they perceive as the film’s multiple assaults on their sensibilities. One offended commenter wrote: “I am disgusted by this mentally handicapped, nauseatingly embarrassing mess. Thanks to Chinese capital and Chinese product placement advertisers, without you this most stupid piece of Hollywood's s**t would never have been spawned. One star (out of five) for the special effects, no thank you.”

Perhaps out of sympathy for the jilted paramours--that is, Paramount's execs--some in the media have taken to calling for a reboot, a fresh take on the franchise with someone other than Michael Bay in the director's chair. But this may be overly optimistic, wishful thinking. The flame is extinguished, the love is gone, and all that the creators of Transformers may have left from China is some dog-eared love letters, dried-up flowers, and a bunch of wistful memories.

 




#12 Petes Robot Con

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:42 AM

Jinx!

#13 HellCat

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:42 AM

I suggest replacing Bay with a director who cares about kids. Promotion played up a new child character and her robot mascot buddy. Both are quickly ignored to focus on Cade's lovelife and set pieces presumably too dangerous to involve a child with.

It's like that Family Guy episode where Lois is directing The King and I and Peter keeps "improving" it with updates and tangents. I feel most everyone else in production is on the same page but the second production starts Bay just does what he wants and sadly it doesn't stop at "I'm renaming this robot" like the first movie.

#14 2018

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:16 AM

Oh jeez, I hadn't heard about the China thing or expected it to be this bad. Wow.


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#15 Paladin

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:21 AM

Reboot seems like the best option for the franchise at this point. And hell, if Spider-Man can survive 2 reboots in 10 years I'm sure Transformers could manage at least 1 full revision.

 

 

 

question now is, will they lose more money if they cancel the proposed sequel and/or Bumblebee spinoff due to contracts & such? I'd guess we might be in for at least 1 more in this universe (Bay & Marky-Mark both said they're out; just get someone else to direct & maybe use Josh Duhmal as the main human lead this time) maybe to "wrap up loose ends" such as it is.


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#16 HellCat

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:32 AM

Dare I suggest China is pissed their ego isn't diddled this time round? Instead the movie spends time in England, a country the last 12 months have soured China on.

#17 Thylacine 2000

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:35 AM

If receipts in China were down 50%, they need to purge basically the entire studio team and start over.

Unless they want to try desperate product placement deals and merchandise exclusives for India next time....

#18 Locoman

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:36 AM

I feel like what's going to happen is that we'll get the Bumblebee film, and depending on how that does we'll either get a continuation of the existing universe, or maybe Hasbro will take a few years off and do a big reboot, maybe fold Transformers into that cinematic universe they keep talking about.

But... honestly, I'm sort of worried here. I'm not that attached to the live-action movie universe as its own thing, but I do realize that they are basically the IV drip that keeps the rest of the franchise alive and moving forward...


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#19 Verity Carlo

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:41 AM

Like I get that it isn't performing as well as the other films but......making back your budget and going at least 12 million over doesn't really sound like a failure to me

 

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#20 2018

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:46 AM

Dare I suggest China is pissed their ego isn't diddled this time round? Instead the movie spends time in England, a country the last 12 months have soured China on.

 

But AOE was the only one that paid so much attention to China in a film level. The average Chinese citizen probably doesn't care about Britain's domestic problems.

 

 

Like I get that it isn't performing as well as the other films but......making back your budget and going at least 12 million over doesn't really sound like a failure to me

 

Well my point at the start wasn't the films are doomed, just that this can change how the future films could be planned and structured.


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