There are number of reasons which contribute for a bad movie to make loads of money as Transformer while others fail miserably at it. Transformer age of extinction admit it its a shitty movie without any depth but made over $1 billion worldwide but Fantastic Four is struggling to recover its production cost.
When it comes to big budget movies like Transformer or Fantastic Four the most important factor for the movie is the tone of the movie, with every Micheal Bay movie we know what would be the tone of the movie comedic in places and over the top actions and scenes filled with CGI and explosions and movie aims mainly at teenager and youths looking forward to cool effects, but with movies like Fantastic Four going towards the darker tone would mean its target audiance will be more adults and who indulge themselves in the experience of the movie, to get this working, studios has to get few things going their way. A strong story, brilliant script and motivational villain and chemistry between charcters, and added actions if you fail to get this correct you nieher have young audiance who do not want dull dark movie or the adults who who feel film to be lackluste in story telling.
Its better left for movie making geniuses as such Chistopher Nolan or Tim Burton or Steven Spielberg who can really pull off dark tone for a movie with huge budget with thier view being projected as they want and finally giving us a movie to remeber.
Even though transformer is not a good movie the colours in the movie holds up the movie, the bright red Megtron tranforming to bad ass robot or Bumble bee as cool ride for anatagonist of the movie, but with movie like Fantastic four the colour tone of the movie is also dull and dark makes the experience even more boring, you need to have fun elements in it like none of the characters with their power in the movie seems to have any fun with it. Any kid or adult with such super hero power would definitly have fun with powers they got, like in transformer when you got badass bumble bee as your ride you are bound to get hot chicks and be cool kid, or Iron enjoying being Iron Man or Batman pretending to be womenizer or is he really? or even for that factor Hulk who constaly seems to struggle with his powers seems to have a secret "He is always angry!"
Coming to actions hate him or like him, we got admit that Michael bay is brilliant action director one of the best in the business even though he over does it with meaningless explosion but they are really good even though irrevelant to movie, coming to fantastic four you cant have a boring movie about superheros and do not have any action untill the climax and actions at the climax is poorly executed and below standards by many means. It would be really cool if Michael Bay works as guest action director for any of meanigful movies. The important aspect for these big budget bad movies to have small moments of joy, like Superhero saving a kid from collapsing building to cheer for our antagonist or to show good side of a character and the actions must take place in more relastic place with humans to be able to connect to its audiances, this is where we get to see Tranformers ripping of Skyscarpers in New York or any metropolitan city actions within a city or human environment even though we have seen enough destruction of cities, but when actions takes place in another dimension only with few poeple for whom we dont care what happens it fails in this aspect as well, this is the case with final battle scene from Fantastic four.
Its like you cannot make a spider man movie where he files from building to building just once but with awesome actions which perfectly fit into a great story and very motivation villain you get movies like Dark Knight.
Next comes to the release date the Transformers movies have been grossing over $100M alone in China, we gotta admit its a popular franchinse there but morever the release dates also matter, a single worldwide relase date really saves a bad movie from further loss, the box office collection of a movie relased worldwide on same date is expected to collect more money than the movies delayed in different regions, this is only the case when movie is bad, if movie gets great positive word of mouth the delayed relase worldwide increasing the expectation does well, in more contrast aspect if its already panned by critics with its earlier review the potential to money making in movie drops gradullay in different regions as result of negative word of mouth and also more expenditure in promoting already panned movies different regions.