Despite the fact that Michael Bay really screwed up the last two Transformers movies and critics tore it apart, Transformers: Age of Extinction killed it at the box-office this weekend. In fact, the opening was the largest in star Mark Wahlberg’s career.
The fourth installment (and apparently, the first in a new trilogy) opened internationally on Wednesday (although, it only hit theaters in North America on Thursday) and managed to bring in a whopping $300 million worldwide by Sunday. The stateside total for opening day was $41.6 million which marks the biggest opening of the year so far. It also makes Age of Extinction the second-best June opening behind Man of Steel.
Interestingly enough, the biggest contributor to overseas sales was China which accounted for $90 million out of the estimated $200 million the movie brought in internationally. Even more impressive is the fact that it was showing in fewer theaters in China than it was in North America! It’s also worth noting that Age of Extinction set a new IMAX record in China by raking in $10 million on 150 screens which is more than double the double the previous record. The markets in Russia and Korea also performed well with each bringing in about $21 million.
Although it has an impressive cast (Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, Li Bingbing and T.J. Miller) and equally impressive sales, one thing is less than stellar – the reviews. Here are just a few things the critics had to say:
“Deafening, deadening and about two hours too long, ‘Extinction’ would mark the weakest installment yet of the 7-year-old Hasbro franchise — if the previous three movies were discernible from one another.” – Scott Bowles, USA Today
“Actually, director Michael Bay’s fourth heavy-metal installment is sensory overload in every sense. Noise, action, rubble. Which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t so punishingly long — 2 hours and 45 minutes of furious pandemonium. You leave the cineplex feeling bludgeoned.” - David Hiltbrand, The Philadelphia Inquirer
“The mythology seems to have been cobbled together at corporate strategy sessions out of notions ripped off from elsewhere.” - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“Just bracing myself for 165 minutes of explosions, car chases, cars turning into robots, images of cars, robots, and tiny human figures spinning in slow motion after an explosion or a car chase, ludicrous bathos, tight shots looking up Nicola Peltz’s tiny shorts, stentorian sound effects, cheap Wagnerian music, all shot and edited as if by a Cuisinart. In short, the cinematic equivalent of being tied in a bag and being beaten by pipes.” - Peter Keough, The Boston Globe
“With ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction,’ the start of a — everyone duck! — second trilogy in his metalhead franchise, the Bay-man has made the worst and most worthless ‘Transformers’ movie yet. I know, hard to believe, right? How could any summer blockbuster be as dull, dumb and soul-sucking as the first three ‘Transformers’ movies? Step right up. … Kill me now.” - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“All those minutes devoted to crunching metal come at the expense of not just character and plot development, but also simple transitions. The movie moves both too slowly and too quickly, as scene transitions appear to have been stripped or significantly shortened during the editing process. Even the lengthy run time isn’t sufficient to develop the many story lines.” - Stephanie Merry, The Washington Post
“The new ‘Transformers’ is a completely unnecessary and soul-crushing 165 minutes long, bloated by exposition and plot turns that sound as if they were being made up as the movie was shot. You could cut 45 minutes out of ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ in completely random places; it would be a much better movie (and only slightly less coherent).” - Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
“It’s messy enough that, like a Rorschach blot, it yields whatever meaning you’d like if you stare at it long enough. But it’s so crazily empty headed that by the end, even the characters seem to be getting loopy, as they engage in endless dialogue over whose responsibility it is to trust and respect who — that many numbing explosions, shootouts, giant robot wars, and Dinobot riding will get anyone a little wacky.” – Alison Wilmore, BuzzFeed
“Ultimately, ‘Age of Extinction’ is an endless barrage of nonsense and noise. You almost don’t even care who wins, just that it ends. Bay has said that this film will kick off a second trilogy of ‘Transformers’ movies — and I think he’s serious. That means there will be (at least) two more of these things. God help us all.” - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly