Weekend Forecast: Transformers: Dark of the Moon Edition

By Reagen Sulewski

June 29, 2011

Let him fall! Let him fall!

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Michael Bay's six (and a half?) day assault on the concept of the weekend, and his much longer assault on the concept of quality action cinema begins… right about now.

Starting with Tuesday night sneaks, the third Transformers film, Dark of the Moon (rejected subtitles included The Piper of Dawn, Wish Were Here, and A Lapse of Reason – the last being a little too on the nose) is laying claim to the July 4th weekend, with aims at earning an unassailable lead on being the top grossing film of the year. That's a goal that's become quite a bit easier thanks to the failure of a lot of this year's contenders to meet expectations, but Bay, I'm sure, would like to take no chances.

Plotted in an increasing “oh, does it even fricking matter” way, Transformers 3 sends its special effects creations into battle over a Cybertronian artifact found on the moon – which the film reveals, was the actual reason behind the Apollo missions. Seems like this is something that might have been mentioned in the first couple of films. At any rate, this MacGuffin brings all of the special effects together in a race to see who'll collect it and use its terrible power for … something or other. Seriously, you can't possible care about this, can you?


Most of the same human actors from the first two films are back, with the notable exception of Megan Fox, who made the stupid (but I'm sure oh so satisfying) decision to call director Michael Bay “Hitler”. Hope she saved her money. She's replaced by Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitely, which shows what they're really aiming for in this role.At any rate, Shia LaBeouf continues his run of starring in inexplicably popular films, and throwing money at people like Frances McDormand and John Malkovich helps to round out the cast of largely irrelevant human actors.

Transformers 2 was best described as an attack on the senses, a thoroughly unwatchable mess of a movie that simply went on and on for no discernible reason. Transformers 3 gets the high-praise indeed of being “not quite as bad as that”, though it's now in 3D, so as to more thoroughly violate your ocular cavities. Audiences have shown they're very reluctant to give up on these noisy franchises, as witnessed by Pirates of the Caribbean 4, which opened to $90 million despite almost no one enjoying Pirates of the Caribbean 3.

Dark of the Moon (I just cannot get over how dumb that title is) will thus be aiming at Revenge of the Fallen's (at least it's tradition) $109 million opening weekend, and $200 million five-day and $214 million six-day figures (thanks to July 4th falling on a Monday). If it can avoid word-of-mouth destroying it in the cradle, that calendar configuration should lead it straight towards an obscene total of about $104 million from July 1st to 3rd, and $225 million from Tuesday night sneaks up until July 4th.

Stay tuned for a full weekend forecast.



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