Transformers movie box office: Michael Bay delivers the loud & brainless action flick that domestic audiences have been eagerly waiting for
July 6–8 weekend box office: Transformers – Michael Bay’s mix of action, explosions, giant bots, tiny humans, and cheesy dialogue – was the no. 1 movie on the North American (U.S. and Canada only) chart this post-Fourth of July weekend. The unenthusiastically received DreamWorks/Paramount release grossed an impressive $70.5 million from 4,011 theaters as per final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.
Since its July 2 debut, Transformers has already earned a whopping $155.4 million. That’s a great figure for this $150 million production (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses) – though perhaps a not-so-great figure for the future of cinema.
For comparison’s sake (not adjusted for inflation/currency fluctuations): Michael Bay’s $140 million action blockbuster Armageddon opened with $36.1 million in early July 1998, going on to gross $201.6 million in the domestic market, in addition to $352.1 million overseas. Worldwide total: A highly profitable $553.7 million.
Inspired by Hasbro/Takara Tomy’s toys, animated series, and comic books, Transformers features Autobots, Decepticons, and, as the puny humans, Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Rachael Taylor, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, and Oscar winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, 1978).
Update: Michael Bay’s Transformers was 2007’s third biggest blockbuster in the U.S. and Canada, collecting $319.2 million, in addition to $390.5 million internationally. Worldwide total: $709.7 million – the year’s fifth biggest gross and more than enough for the mega-budget production to have earned some mega-profits.
Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($48.6 million), South Korea ($38.9 million), China ($37.2 million), Japan ($34.3 million), Australia ($23.9 million), Mexico ($18 million), France ($17 million), Russia/CIS ($15.1 million), Germany ($14.6 million), Taiwan (making an unusual Top Ten appearance, with $11.5 million), Italy ($11.3 million), Spain ($10.5 million), and Brazil ($8.2 million).
Transformers sequels: From boom to bust
For comparison’s sake: The four Transformers sequels listed below were all directed by Michael Bay and all but one turned out to be hugely profitable at the box office.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) grossed $402.1 million domestically and $434.2 million internationally. Worldwide total: $836.3 million. Budget: $200 million. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Josh Duhamel.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) grossed $352.4 million domestically and $771.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: $1.123,8 billion. Budget: $195 million. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (whose replacement of Megan Fox caused quite a stir), and Josh Duhamel.
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) grossed $245.4 million domestically (quite a decrease from its predecessor) and $858.6 million internationally. Worldwide total: $1.104 billion – or nearly $20 million less than Dark of the. Moon. Budget: $210 million. Cast: Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed, 2006), Nicola Peltz, and Jack Reynor.
Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) grossed $130.2 million domestically (another major drop) and, relatively speaking, a paltry $475.2 million internationally. Worldwide total: $605.4 million. Budget: $217 million – which means the fifth Transformers title failed to recover its costs at the box office alone. Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, and, lending prestige to the loud inanities, veteran Best Actor Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs, 1991).
“Transformers Movie Box Office: Michael Bay Actioner” endnotes
Unless otherwise noted, “Transformers Movie Box Office: Michael Bay Actioner Is a Mega-Noisy Mega-Blockbuster” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).
Comments about Transformers and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).
Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).
Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.
Transformers movie image: DreamWorks | Paramount Pictures.
“Transformers Movie Box Office: Michael Bay Actioner Is a Mega-Noisy Mega-Blockbuster” last updated in October 2022.