Didn’t like ‘Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’? Blame the Writer’s Strike.
First, let’s get the opening numbers for Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen out of the way:
3-day weekend total is $112M and 5-day overall is $201.2M from 4,234 theaters. Those figures include a Sunday estimate of around $34+M mirroring that day’s -15% play on the first Transformers.
The breakdown is $40.6M for Saturday, $36.7M Friday, $28.6M Thursday,
and a record smashing $60.6M Wednesday. Included are 169 IMAX screens
which contributed a giant $14.4 million to the five day total.
Internationally, the robot sequel made $162M with a cume of $187M
including the early debuts in Japan and the UK. So that makes for $387M
worldwide, a nice haul for the 100%-owned Viacom title.
So it’s #2 off all time openings, behind The Dark Knight, in spite of brutal reviews. I mean, mind-crunchingly bad. The shortest is T:ROTFL. Some of the roughest comes from Topless Robot, who I think is taking this as an affront to robots everywhere.
But the question no one seems to be asking is: How could this movie be so disjointed, with plot holes you could fly a teleporting jet plane through? Weren’t there writers?
Actually, for a decent part of the movie’s production– no, there weren’t any writers. They were all on strike.
The Writer’s Guild of America, the union that represents all writers in Hollywood, went on strike on November 5, 2007, ending three months later on February 12, 2008. During those hundred days, writing on all movie and TV projects stopped cold, no matter where they were. Foreseeing the possibility of a strike, production companies accelerated production of films and television episodes in an effort to stockpile enough material to continue regular film releases and TV
schedules during the strike period. And one of the films in that rush period was Transformers.
With Transformers, the timing issue was even more critical. Delays for the project were deadly; a summer 2009 release date was already planned and was critical for generating the most income. The visual effects were another problem. You’ve probably already seen articles on how many years of computing time went into making this movie, and that they literally blew up servers rendering the film. Once again, very little time to spare.
So they had to go into production with what they had, and hope that they would be able to pull it all together later. Reanimate a robot here and there for new lines, and cover the rest with explosions and fast movement, and hope that the audience would be dazzled enough not to notice the problems.
And the final cost is now apparent.
UPDATE: Edward Douglas has the pull quotes from screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to match what I’d been hearing off the record:
Roberto Orci: We took the job with
Ehren Kruger two weeks before the strike so in that two weeks, we had
to generate a 20-page outline that we handed in, and then during the
strike, Michael and the amazing (producer) Ian Bryce tried to prep
everything they could off of that outline. Then from the day the strike
ended to the first day of shooting was three months, so we had to write
the script in those three months, handing in pages at the end of every
day so they could be prepped. It was crazy. We finished writing the
movie two weeks ago, literally.
Alex Kurtzman: Because you’re writing lines for the robots in
post. Not only did we rewrite on set but we spent the last six months
with Michael in post, cutting the movie and writing the lines for the
robots, just making jokes or making plot points more clear. Literally,
they had to just rip it out of our dead hands the other day. (chuckles)
This is not the way to make a coherent movie. Suddenly, I’m even more worried about what the G.I.Joe movie is going to be like.
Goes to show how much the Critics opinion's matter lol The movie was amazing. The story wasn't bad at all. It was simple plot that didn't need anything complicated due to it being about Toys. Visually no one can say anything bad about the visual effects its the best I have seen in any movie and if they do they are Ignorant and just hating on the movie just to disagree.
My favorite short twitter review: "ZacharySkinner @WeekinRewind watching transformers was like watching paint dry while being hit in the head with a frying pan…"
I thought the movie was okay. I went in with very little expectations and was ready to just watch an action movie. I'll admit it had a lot of issues but you just need to let somethings go.
Another thing to consider is the workload of the writers. These guys were also writing "Star Trek 11" and IIRC setting up their own production company, getting new projects off the ground, as well the strike.
I THINK THE FILM IS GREAT BUT MAYBE THE PLOT IS HEAVIER COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS ONE.THE STORY LINES WAS ALSO TOO LONG..BUT THE ACTIONS ARE SUPEB.TO BE HONEST..I QUIT UPSET BCOZ I WANT TO SEE MORE OPTIMUS PRIME ND BUMBLE BEE RATHER THAN THE DECEPTICONS.
Michael Bay went forward because the powers that be told him so. This wasn't a movie. It was a two and a half hour commercial for toy tie-ins, and the US Armed Forces. What loose threads of plot existed were good ideas, just not executed well. While I want to see it again to enjoy the battles (first time I saw it, I was 2 rows from front at an IMAX, ugh)… suffice to say, as anything more than a giant toy commercial, this was a load of explosions loosely tied together with CGI.