Transformers: Rise of the Beasts clearly struggled at the box office, establishing how Michael Bay’s 14-movie Transformers plan may be impossible.
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ disappointing box office returns prove that Michael Bay’s 14-movie Transformers plan may not work out. Serving as a reboot to Michael Bay’s Transformers movies and a sequel to 2018’s Bumblebee, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts brings a fresh spin to the franchise by unfolding in the 90s.
Unlike the Michael Bay movies, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts also emphasizes Mirage’s characterization and highlights how Optimus Prime struggles to guide the Autobots during his early years of leadership.
Apart from bringing some significant changes to the character beats of many primary characters, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts draws several references to the original Transformers lore from comic books, toys, and cartoons.
The movie also ends with a shocking twist that hints at a future collaboration between the G.I. Joe and the Autobots. Unfortunately, despite having so many fascinating elements, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts failed to leave its mark at the box office, making Michael Bay’s long-term Transformers plan harder.
Rise Of The Beasts’ Box Office Makes Michael Bay’s Transformers Plan Harder
With a budget of around $192-200 million, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts has grossed $433.8 million at the global box office.
Given how all other previous iterations of the Transformers live-action movie franchise had higher box office numbers, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ performance has been underwhelming, highlighting how each installment of the movie franchise is offering diminishing returns.
Long before Bumblebee had branched out of the Transformers live-action movie franchise as a reboot, Michael Bay was overseeing a writers’ room development for Paramount’s future Transformers plans.
This writers’ room included Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down), Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel), Christina Hodson (Bumblebee), Lindsey Beer (Sierra Burgess Is A Loser), Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim: Uprising), and Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2). As Bay confirmed in a 2017 interview (via MTV), a 14-movie plan was created for the Transformers live-action franchise following its initial success. Bumblebee, too, was a part of this plan after it was pitched by Christina Hodson.
Although Bumblebee‘s gross revenue was not as impressive as the previous Michael Bay movies, its critical acclaim gave the franchise’s new direction some hope.
Unfortunately, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts seems to confirm that the franchise is on a downward trend with box office numbers, suggesting that audience interest in the franchise has dampened over time. This decline in interest, for obvious reasons, spells trouble for Michael Bay’s 14-movie Transformers plan.
Michael Bay’s 14 Transformers Movies Were Always Unlikely
While it is understandable why Michael Bay made a 14-movie plan for Transformers following its initial success, the likelihood of the plan succeeding always seemed low.
To put things into perspective, MCU’s first two phases have 12 movies, with nearly every movie either featuring a different superhero or a team-up between several heroes.
For a franchise that would have likely introduced the same Autobot characters in every installment, a 14-movie plan seemed a little too ambitious. Despite seeing new superhero additions to the MCU, audiences have become fatigued and less interested in the franchise.
Many other long-running movie franchises like the Fast & Furious have experienced a similar downfall because it is nearly impossible for so many consecutive movies to maintain narrative coherence while introducing new engaging storylines.
Transformers‘ live-action timeline already seems too complex, highlighting how the 14-movie plan would have created even more plot holes and logical inconsistencies in the franchise’s overarching narrative. This, in turn, would have confused audiences, diluting the impact and legacy of the initial few Michael Bay live-action Transformers movies.
1. Teased Transformers Movie Can Still Save The Franchise
Despite these pitfalls, the Transformers live-action franchise may not be doomed. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ ending teases a Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover, which could potentially revive the franchise by increasing audience interest.
A crossover between the two Hasbro toy lines not only opens the floodgates of many new storytelling opportunities but also allows the franchise to appeal to wider audiences. The crossover Transformers movie could also benefit from the cross-promotion between the toy lines, leveraging the combined popularity of both.
Most Transformers movies, so far, have primarily revolved around humans and the Autobots joining forces to fight against a common threat. With the Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts‘ sequels can bring a new spin to this narrative by merging the military and espionage elements of G.I. Joe with Transformers‘ action and visual spectacle.
Not to mention, since the two Hasbro forces have previously interacted in several comic book installments, the Transformers and G.I. Joe crossover introduced in Transformers: Rise of the Beasts could also instill nostalgia, potentially increasing the odds of the franchise’s future success.