America Finally Gets It Right With Michael Bay and ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

We did it, America.

Ok, sure, the new Transformers movie opened at #1 over the weekend, but it pulled a paltry $45 million at the box office. It’s the first movie in the franchise to open below $50 million and it can only mean one thing: People are finally sick of Michael Bay.

It’s a credit to Bay that he’s been able to last this long. He hasn’t directed a good movie since Bad Boys II in 2003. And that movie was only good because Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are awesome. Every Transformers film has been worse than the previous and people have now had enough.

Think about this: we’re on the eighth Fast & Furious film.

Anyone who has ever seen one of the Transformers movies knows what to expect: A nonsensical plot, unrecognizable robots, a lot of explosions, bad dialogue, and shameless pandering.

On Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Knight is the worst reviewed Transformers movie in the franchise. Age of Extinction checked in at 18% and Revenge of the Fallen had 19%. Somehow, The Last Knight was lower than both of those films at 15%. If Michael Bay’s goal is to consistently make worse reviewed films, he’s doing a hell of a job.

Some are already calling for the franchise to be rebooted, but given that Bay is signed on for two more films, it seems unlikely that he’ll be ousted anytime soon. Even if Bay is no longer directing the films, he’ll continue to be a producer. I highly doubt that he’ll just relinquish the reigns to a franchise that he’s been tied to since the beginning.

Think about this: we’re on the eighth Fast & Furious film. Each is bigger than the last. They continue to add stars and do even more insane stunts than the previous film. And people eat it up. The last four Fast & Furious films have all done over $200 million in the United States.

The Transformers franchise has typically performed well in the United States, but The Last Knight will need a lot of help to surpass $200 million domestically. Next week, Baby Driver and Despicable Me 3 hit theaters. While neither is considered a “summer blockbuster,” combined they’re both going to cut into Transformers profits. Baby Driver could take away those looking for an action film (a much better action film at that) while kids will definitely drag their parents to Despicable Me 3 over Transformers.

Bay has always been able to fall back on the fact that his Transformers films have cleaned up at the box office. It’s possible that The Last Knight rebounds in the second week. Age of Extinction had a 60 percent drop in the second week, but Revenge of the Fallen (130 percent) and Dark of the Moon (75 percent) saw huge increases in the second week. Being Fourth of July weekend certainly makes things a bit more unpredictable.

I think Matt Stone and Trey Parker ruined Michael Bay for people. Their song, “Pearl Harbor Sucked,” from Team America: World Police, really turned people against Bay and Pearl Harbor. Their portrayal of Bay’s directing style in the “Imaginationand” trilogy further drove home the point. Say what you will about South Park, but their influence throughout the years is unquestionable. They’ve ruined far more trends and personalities than most are willing to admit.

Chances are, The Last Knight will perform well overseas. These blockbuster films always do well overseas for some reason. Do they not play any other type of movie across the ocean? Someone smarter than me should investigate this. But that doesn’t change the fact that, finally, America smartened up to Michael Bay.

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