Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

June 29, 2009

We don't think they're doing anything dirty, but we can't be 100% certain.

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Mass hypnosis. It's the only plausible explanation.

Kim Hollis: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the sequel to the $319 million hit, opened to $200.1 million over five days. This almost matches The Dark Knight's $203 million in the same amount of time. How did Paramount and Michael Bay pull off such a magnificent result?

Daron Aldridge: It seems that this juggernaut reached critical mass months ago with a barrage of ads and press for Megan Fox and it didn't show any signs of letting up. I really thought once unfavorable reviews started spreading then it would start to weaken. We know the professional critics aren't going to impact this film but if the rabid fans of the first were let down (which was highly probable) then they would turn on it a la Wolverine. To address the Batman comparison, while bad reviews don't hurt this type of film, great reviews are...well...great for business. That fact is what will keep Transformers from even coming close to Dark Knight.

Josh Spiegel: The marketing (despite Michael Bay's protests) is what's to thank here. It certainly doesn't seem likely that Transformers 2 will hit the same heights as The Dark Knight did, but $400 million domestically is what will probably be the end result. Whether we like this movie or not doesn't matter; people wanted to see this movie, if only the once, and they wanted to see it as soon as possible. I'm very curious to see what the second-weekend take for Transformers 2 is; it'll give us a very good idea of how little the critical negativity matters; unlike most big action movies, this one seems to be succeeding in spite of some fanboy hate, so how many non-fanboys will see this again? Like I said, I'm very curious about the second-weekend take.

Scott Lumley: The marketing for this one has been unusual, with a lot of the trailers hinting at dark times for the Autobots, and by proxy, the humans. I commented to one colleague that this almost feels like they were going for an Empire Strikes Back vibe and he commented that he was feeling the same way. It seemed like every time I turned around, some Autobot was getting mangled on TV or sucked into a gigantic sand sucking Decepticon monstrosity.

I gotta say, I liked that angle. The thought that maybe Optimus wasn't getting out of this one alive coupled with the history of what they did with Jazz was some particularly compelling imagery.

I think this kind of spin, coupled with the dearth of quality films this summer, sets up Revenge of the Fallen perfectly. I think this is an excellent result, and I think this is going to drop like a rock after the first week. And I say that while acknowledging that this was truly a monster week and a pure tentpole moment.


Tim Briody: All I have here is "WTF, America?" Although I can add it'll be an interesting experiment to compare this to the Dark Knight since that was beloved and Transformers...not so much.

Kevin Chen: Tim is wrong. It won't be a very interesting experiment at all, since the only comparisons between The Dark Knight and Transformers 2 are going to be made by this Web site and the industry trades this week.

David Mumpower: I resemble that remark.

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