Top 12 Film Industry Stories of 2009:
#8: Ice Age Transforms
By David Mumpower
December 31, 2009
Admittedly, the choice to link these two titles together is a bit of a cop-out. We had a short list of 13 stories we felt justified inclusion in this column. A debate ensued over which feat was more impressive between Ice Age 3 and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Battle lines were drawn about whether domestic or international performance was more important in terms of overall 2009 box office stories. In the end, the decision was made to avoid having a tie at #12 or pick one over the other by melding the two topics. In the past, we have avoided this sort of situation by disallowing ties in the staff voting process. This year, however, saw a return to the early days of Film Industry Stories selection wherein the Webmasters made the final call about entries and ordering. What we decided is that the Ice Age and Transformers stories in combination are a more interesting story than either one individually and that their overall box office was a bigger story than selections 12-9 on our list. Now that there's been some transparency offered regarding the selection process, let's discuss why these movies are so novel.
Unlike some of the other selections listed in this year's Film Industry Stories, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen are a couple of titles whose overwhelming success was a foregone conclusion. The former film follows on the heels of two previous titles with combined worldwide box office of over a billion dollars. The latter is the successor to the third strongest domestic performer of 2007. Ice Age: The Meltdown earned $652 million worldwide while Transformers managed an even better $708.3 million. Any sequel to either of those titles feels like the scion of Bill Gates. It's going to be rich no matter what. The question is whether it can avoid the fate of THAT film. You know the one. Terminator: Salvation's $370 million worldwide total represents a decline of roughly $50 million from its predecessor despite half a dozen years of ticket price inflation.
Both titles managed to avoid such a fate of lost consumers and they accomplished this task in deeply impressive fashion. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came first, and it immediately exemplified the box office behavior BOP has been espousing the past few years. The perceived quality of a film directly correlates to the opening weekend box office of its successor. No matter what you may personally think of Transformers, 68% of the top critics at Rotten Tomatoes gave it thumbs up. It also has a 7.4 user rating at IMDb, which falls somewhere between the good and very good range. Finally, the film was the second best revenue earner on the home video market of any 2007 release. In short, people liked it and this was reflected by the debut of its sequel. While the first film managed an impressive $70.5 million debut, Revenge of the Fallen spiked huge to $109.0 million, making it the eighth biggest opener of all time.