Sorry, Guardians of the Galaxy! Looks like you were beaten to the top spot of 2014's highest grossing movies by [Transformers: Age of Extinction](tag:206531). Guess you should try appeal to the Chinese market a little more next time! The Transformers Franchise has always been a spanner in the works for understanding just what sells, and has come to embody the idea that you don't even have to make a movie people like in order to make a tonne of cash.
Sure, these movies have a base of fans who sincerely like them, but a good portion of the numbers they garner comes from hate-watching. People will still pay for a ticket to not enjoy a movie. They will buy popcorn, so they can eat while not enjoying the movie. Then they will buy the Blu-Ray so they can further determine why they didn't enjoy the movie. This isn't an article about how to improve the Transformers movies. They've already nailed what they are. The question now is simply "what's next for Transformers 5?"
Michael Bay is already one of the most misanthropic directors working today. What's to stop him from simply cutting the human element out of Transformers 5 all together? He clearly enjoys mechanical destruction over that cumbersome and tiring human drama. Everyone loved the first half of Wall.E, but what if it had more explosions and stereotypes?
On a serious note, I do genuinely think a sci-fi movie driven solely by robotic personalities is ground that needs to be broken. What an irony it would be if Michael Bay pushed those genre boundaries, focussing only on the Autobots and Deceptacons. Would this drive away a consistent audience that will pay good money to see Megan Fox objectified year after year? Probably. But hey. Age of Extinction made well over a billion. You can throw a few hundred million down the well for the sake of experimentation. Right, Hollywood?.. right...?
Up the Michael Bay cynicism
Here's why people respond poorly to many Transformers movies. It's because they come from an assumed space of general entertainment and fun, yet exhibit Michael Bay's own cynicism to such a sickly degree. When Bay is allowed to really let loose, and exhibit just how much disdain he has for human kind in all its sticky, shiny, orange and teal glory, we get stuff like [Pain & Gain](tag:319897), which many thought bordered on Bay's efforts at an art house picture. If we just let Transformers be Bay's victory lap for multi-colored misery, we could all enjoy it more earnestly for what it is.
Bring back Shia LaBeouf For Transformers 5!
Sure this would be a difficult step. Since his departure form the Transformers franchise, Shia LaBeouf has been busy being an actual cannibal, hanging out with Lars Von Trier, and telling us all to JUST DO IT! Paramount may have to kidnap, drug him, then have him wake up on set with nothing better to do, but adding Shia after he's had this time to ferment into the beautiful weirdo we've come to know could be a good move! Whether Bay's comments on Shia in the quote above are genuine, only the prospect of Transformers 5 will tell.
This is the exact reason I want Miley Cyrus to return as Hannah Montana. These stars have matured into people the studios never intended, and bringing them back would simply make for a more interesting product.
Appeal to EVERYONE!
Upon watching Transformers: Age of Extinction, you could practically feel Paramount and Michael Bay realizing just how beneficial it is to pander to China in the most basic way. It's almost weird to see a director as proud and patriotic as Bay suddenly paint the Chinese military as the heroes, then go cash his cheque. Still, this very basic, one way targeting of a national audience could be seen as a little cynical.
For Transformers 5, why not focus the story in Europe, in India, South America and Africa? Going by the same logic as Transformers 4, spreading the appeal that far across the globe could up the take significantly, or at least create a more varied representation of people and cultures, in a Transformers movie no less!
What are your thoughts, hopes and fears for Transformers 5? Share them with a post here on MoviePilot, by voting in our poll, or by commenting below!