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July 8, 2014
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Success of 'Transformers 4' proves the robots have won
Despite dismal reviews, fans could make Michael Bay's latest visual assault the year's highest-grossing film
By Liz Braun, QMI Agency


Optimus Prime in Transformers: Age of Extinction. (Courtesy)


Is it that you didn't believe The Sun's Bruce Kirkland?

Did you think he was kidding — or mistaken or deluded — when he called Transformers: Age of Extinction, "an insane jumble"?

Or is it that you didn't believe any of the other 500 critics who described Transformers 4 as possible the most putrid movie of the year?

We only ask because somehow, this 166 minute overwrought dog's breakfast may wind up becoming the most financially successful movie of 2014.

Maybe people believed that Mark Wahlberg would make a big difference in the narrative. Maybe people believed that Michael Bay would miraculously have turned into a different filmmaker.

Maybe people were hypnotized long enough to pony up $12.99 for a ticket to see a movie that has attracted a 17% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


It's all so mysterious.

Transformers: Age of Extinction, generally described as a bloated collection of big explosions, made $100 million (or damn close) on its opening weekend in North America.

And that's nothing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie has just crushed everything in China to become the highest-grossing movie ever in that country, smashing Avatar's previous record to smithereens and boosting the global take for the movie to $576 million after 10 days.

With the help of these so-called overseas markets, the movie will pass the magical $1 billion mark without breaking a sweat.

Somewhere bets are already being made on how long it will take for this Transformers to surpass Avatar's $2.8 billion in worldwide box office.

What does it all mean?

It means we're lemmings, people. It means the robots have won.

It's not as if this hasn't happened before. The list of highest-grossing movies of all time (according to Box Office Mojo) includes the hugely idiotic Transformers: Dark of The Moon, the 2011 bash-up loathed by critics and deemed mediocre by movie-goers.

And yet it earned well over $1 billion, and got to #7 on the list of huge money earners. It was recognized by all and sundry as a piece of s---, and yet… everyone rushed right back out there three years later and paid good money again when the new sequel, Age of Extinction, opened in theatres. Go figure.

The funny thing about the list of 18 all-time box office champions — those movies that earned $1 billion or better — is how many duds are included.

Yes, there are movies that people actually liked, such as The Avengers, The Dark Knight, or Jurassic Park, but the list also includes two Pirates of the Caribbean, including the 2011 fiasco On Stranger Tides and such detritus as Alice in Wonderland and the hugely soggy and incomprehensible Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Lest we forget, the movies sitting at #1 and #2 on the list are Avatar and Titanic, and the less said about either of those, the better.

Come on — do you know anyone over the age of 11 who actually liked Avatar?

Or were they obligated to like it because of the ‘Very Important Technology’?

Most of the movie's positive reviews were reviews of the special effects.

But let's not argue.

Let's just agree that we're all so brainwashed about sequels that a film such as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, for example, could earn a total of $786 million worldwide. Or that Transformers: Age of Extinction could somehow become a huge hit.

Let's just agree that there are many things in life not easily explained including but not limited to: String theory, lima beans and Grown Ups 2.

Twitter: @LizBraunSun

Liz.braun@sunmedia.ca




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