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‘Transformers’ too long? It’s an epic, says director ‘It’s a very, very complicated movie’

MIAMI, June 28, (Agencies): Clocking nearly three hours, critics have rubbished the latest “Transformers” film as too long; director Michael Bay prefers to label it “a real epic.” Either way, the special-effects blockbuster is out in the United States on Friday and is expected to take the box office by storm. “I never read critics, they can say whatever they want. It’s all about the fans. I think it’s a real epic movie,” Bay told AFP ahead of a preview of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” on Thursday evening in Miami. Bay, 49, has directed all four installments of the popular franchise, about huge robots that turn into cars. Known for big-budget action movies such as “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon,” Bay said that bringing the film — which involved the collaboration of 4,000 people — to the big screen was a challenge.

Complicated
“It is a very, very complicated movie,” he said. In the latest “Transformers,” Mark Wahlberg replaces Shia LaBeouf, star of the saga’s three previous installments, as the leading human. “It’s nice to freshen it up, changing out the cast, giving it all a new life,” Bay said. The cast, which also includes Stanley Tucci and Nicola Peltz, turned up in Hong Kong last week for the movie’s world premiere. The city provided the spectacular backdrop for much of the film, which depicts the latest scuffle in the eternal battle between the Autobots (the good Transformers) and the antagonist Decepticons. Bay added that he gets the greatest satisfaction from the series — which has grossed billions of dollars at the box office — traveling the world meeting fans.

“We just were in China, we were in New York, there are fans around the world for this franchise” Bay said. The director, known for his trademark blockbusters, did not rule out the possibility of getting behind the camera for a fifth installment of “Transformers,” which was originally based on the popular children’s toys. Bay said he was “sure they are going to keep making them, I don’t know if I am. You never know.”

NEW YORK: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” roared to life, especially overseas. The fourth pic in the Michael Bay-Paramount CGI extravaganza made $8.7 in evening (9 pm and midnight) showings in the US, with $1.4 million coming from IMAX. The movie, tailored for Chinese audiences that have shown great enthusiasm for the franchise, made $3.5 million in midnight showings there, breaking the country’s record - besting “Iron Man 3” by 70 percent and the last “Transformers” installment by 75 percent. The film also earned $5.5 million in Russia, the second-biggest opening day of all time.

The international numbers look good for Paramount, especially in light of its solid but not spectacular American opening. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opened in April to $10.3 million from screenings that started at 8 pm, while Godzilla” made $9.3 million. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” took in $8.7 million on its way to an opening weekend of $91 million. There are also historical precedents to use for comparison. The first “Transformers,” released in 2007, opened wide at 8 pm on July 3 — a Monday night — and took in $8.8 million domestically for all shows, eventually ringing up $70 million in its opening weekend. The second movie in the franchise, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” opened wide at midnight on Tuesday, June 23 in 2009, making a brisk $16 million in sales in the US That was a precursor to its huge $108 million opening “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” the third movie, made $5.5 million for 3D-only pre-midnight Tuesday screenings, the first rumble in a $97 million opening.

 

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