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Box Office: Trans4mers Yell and Crash Their Way to the Top

Amir here with the weekend’s box office report and a painful personal story. Win win.

The national anthem of China is playing loudly at the Bay residence, the Chinese flag is at full mast, everyone’s pockets are full of Yuans. Trans4mers has become the best selling foreign film in China, raking in an astonishing $90m, making one of the richest men in Hollywood just that much richer. Add that to the film’s massive American gross – the best of 2014, so far – and we have collectively encouraged Michael Bay to continue jerking off on screen. We have to put a stop to this people! Has anyone ever been so amply rewarded for so much disservice to this medium?

01 TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION $100 NEW looking back at the 1986 movie
02 22 JUMP STREET $15.4 (cum. $139.8) Podcast
03 HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 $13.1 (cum. 121.8) best movie dragons ever
04 THINK LIKE A MAN TOO $10.4 (cum.$48.1) 
05 MALEFICENT $8.2 (cum. $201.8) Podcast
06 JERSEY BOYS $7.6 (cum. $27.3) Review
07 EDGE OF TOMORROW $5.2 (cum. $84.1) Capsule
08 FAULT IN OUR... $4.8 (cum. $109.5) Review
09 X-MEN: DOFP $3.3 (cum. $223.3) Review
10 CHEF $1.6 (cum. $19.4) 

[Personal story] My last encounter with the Transformers series was The Revenge of the Fallen, the only theatre experience that has ever left me feeling real, physical pain. So much so that I decided it was time to switch from glasses to contact lenses after witnessing that nauseating visual and aural monstrosity on screen. I vowed never to give Michael Bay another chance but later broke this vow for Pain & Gain, a film I mistakenly assumed would be a suitable bonding moment for me and my dad. Near the end of the film, my dad smacked his glass of water on the table and yelled: “Enough! Enough is enough! What is this nonsense young people watch these days? This isn’t cinema.” and stormed out of the room. And this coming from an ardent Jason Statham fan! Anyway, traumatic experience for everyone involved. [/Personal story]

On the limited end of things, the biggest name was Snowpiercer. With an outstanding per screen average, the Weinstein Radius property made it to the top 20 despite playing on only 8 screens. Opinions on the film range anywhere from “masterpiece!” to accusations of messy incoherence. If you’ve been lucky enough to have seen it already, do let us know where you stand in the comments. What else did you watch this weekend?

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Reader Comments (23)

Oh Amir. Thank you for this. Your dad's reaction was correct. I had to watch Trans4mers this weekend on assignment, and it was HORRIBLE. DO NOT SEE IT. No one see it! No one should EVER see it! It was my first Transformers since the first one and I'm hoping it's my last.

Also saw Snowpiercer and I loved it. I don't know if I'd call it a masterpiece, but it's everything that a blockbuster should be and it's just plain stupid it isn't getting a wider release.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Saw SNOWPIERCER and thought it was pretty great. It's no masterpiece, but certainly better than whatever the latest Transformers film had to offer. And I didn't get to see it this weekend, but also good to see BEGIN AGAIN do well in limited.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Humanity has failed us all!!!!

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

I saw The Immigrant. Beautiful absorbent movie. It's sad that James Gray never seems to get the recognition he deserves and others less deserving have.

Marion and Joaquín, I bow to you.

Snowpiercer left me as cold as the world depicted in.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Could not believe the success of this one, I thought it would be high, but not this crazy. What is wrong with this world. Have never seen a Transformer movie and never will (did not care for them much as a kid)

Saw two new ones:

Chef - enjoyed this a ton, love the themes, and the cast - Jon Favreau was great, food trucks stop by our office building every day, and the majority serve some really unique cool foods, some just your standard boring pizza I could make better myself, should have watched this at one of the theaters that serve food (although the food would not be as good as on this truck), had to go eat after it was over

The Rover - this was ok, more curious about Robert Pattinson then anything else


Xmen: Days of Future Past - love love love James McAvoy in this (huge crush) - best scene Quicksilver with the music of Time in a Bottle

Edge of Tomorrow - this was way better than I thought it was going to be - loved Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSpinDr

TB: Yeah, Pain & Gain is pretty much a litmus test. If you like it, you can be fair to Michael Bay and try to like his non Transformers stuff. If you can't even like that? Put him on your "don't watch" list. (I thought it was pretty good, actually.)

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I'm watching Blue Jasmine for the first time tonight. I only got the first 5 minutes and i'm digging it so far.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertom

Liked Snowpiercer, LOVED Tilda Swinton. She was giving me crazy anime bad guy realness. Great performance, wanted more of her.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRene

Jersey Boys, Citizen Kane, Edge of Tomorrow, all on large screens. It's safe to say I'm numb.

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I saw Transformers and I feel really bad about it. I especially feel bad because I didn't watch any other movies this weekend, so the fast food taste is still in my mouth.

On TV I mostly watched episodes of Masters of Sex. I'm five episodes into season one, trying to get caught up in time for season two. Loving it so far. Lizzie Caplan is one of my favorite actresses, and this is easily the best work of Michael Sheen's career. It's a relief to see a show that doesn't really celebrate the brooding, emotionally stunted male anti-hero. Like, at all. So far, if anything, Dr. Masters has been portrayed as a vain, slightly ridiculous, emotionally stunted, vaguely pathetic figure, and that's awesome, because CONTEXT. Between this, The Americans and Orange is the New Black, I'm digging this wave of revisionist anti-hero shows. It's long overdue.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Snowpiercer is really close to being a MASTERPIECE in capital letters, more screenplay-wise (the merit, to the graphic novel) than visually, to be honest. Still a great film in all senses with an outstanding cast. Evans is commanding, threedimensional and in one of his best performances to date (he's going to be HUGE, Oscar ain't that far from his reach). Hurt, Bremner, Harris, Spencer, the two korean stars of The Host, all great and hitting the right notes. Tilda Swinton, in some fashion, does the same thing Ledger did in "The Dark Knight", portraying a memorable villain and has a lot of fun with her character, it's infecting. Waiting for your review, I couldn't see it in theaters but I'm lucky I own it in Bluray already (distributor didn't have that much faith on it).

Super-mega-ultra-recommended. Did tag Sasha Stone and you on a review to increase your interest on this film... it is a necessary film for a number of reasons. And you can't say this of all films

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

I forgot to add... Oscar chances, normally absolute zero. BUT, if the film earns some traction, Tilda Swinton could score an Al Pacino-Dick Tracy or Heath Ledger-The Dark Knight. On a normal year, if the film became the sleeper of the year, Picture, Director, Actor (Evans), Supp. Actor (Harris), Supp. Actress (Swinton), Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Sound cathegories and Make Up would be on the mix. But it's a longshot to become a sleeper unless word-of-mouth starts catching fire, but this is unlikely, I'm afraid. If I had to reduce the film to an equation, it would be something like The Matrix + Brazil = Snowpiercer.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

How anyone can spend a single penny on going to the movie theater right now is beyond me. The options right now are just horrendous.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

I watched ENDLESS LOVE from redbox for free. lol

Even a free coupon code couldnt salvage that crap

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

@Jesus Alonso: I'd rather call Snowpiercer a mix between Runaway Train and Brazil (or even The Hunger Games). This movie is far grittier than the clean future of The Matrix (though I get the comparison, especially if you count the Matrix sequels).

But it is indeed a (flawed) minor masterpiece --> great action (that great fight in the dark carriage!), great acting (especially Swinton and Evans) and above all: provocative social commentary.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDieter

Catching up on somewhat older movies:

Greenburg - thought the actors were terrific but I was totally turned off on how the Baumbach expects us to just accept that Gerwig would be at all attracted to Stiller. Sure, she tells him how impressed she is that he's so comfortable doing "nothing," but is that enough to explain all her actions? Or is her revealing secret later in the film enough to explain her previous behavior? I think not. And then Juno Temple plays another cute, young twentysomething who just HAS to flirt with the grumpy, unpleasant, unattractive fortysomething guy. Sure. I would LOVE to see a movie where a hot twentysomething guy just can't help but throw himself at the grumpy, aggressively unpleasant, unattractive fortysomething woman.

Pitch Perfect - I guess the way everyone has raved about this I was expecting more. It felt like Glee or Smash where you wait for the musical numbers because everything in between is so silly and poorly written/edited. But still, it had its own charms and nice performances.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Edge of Tomorrow is my favorite movie of the summer so far. I was disappointed by the ending, though, but I've read some explanations that seem satisfactory. I still would have preferred a different ending.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

This was one of the rare weekends that I didn't watch one movie. But I did watch a few TV shows, the highlight being The Bionic Woman. Lindsay Wagner epitomized 70s glamor. Sigh.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Spent the last two weeks bingeing on films at the San Francisco International LGBT FIlm Fest ("Frameline"). Some of the international features worth keeping an eye out for:

"Futuro Beach" (Brazil/Germany) -- gorgeous cinematography and editing, hot hot men
"Winter Journey" (Russia) -- unconventional antiheroes, ragged, Cassavettes-like filmmaking
"The Circle" (Switzerland) -- vivid, involving doc/fiction hybrid about gay men in 1950s Zurich
"Five Dances" (US) -- five characters in a dance studio in NYC, beautifully economical
"Boulevard" (US) -- conventional but very involving story of Robin Williams as a married man falling for a male hustler
"The Way He Looks" (Brazil) -- sweet sweet love story with a blind teen protagonist
"The Dog" (US) -- must-see doc about the real-life story behind "Dog Day Afternoon"
"YSL" (France) -- glossy sumptuous biopic about Yves Saint Laurent and his life & business partner

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

I saw Venus In Fur which was pretty good. not sure about Oscars though. I also saw Enemy which was quite good and very cronenberg esque. @ SanFranCinema i am really jealous alot of those movies sound really good. especially YSL and Futuro Beach.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereli

The last Transformer movie was terrible and seriously an almost three hour toy commercial ?!! I went to see "22 Jump Street" which was as funny as the first.

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Given my local choices, I've just been watching Wimbledon tennis. There's more action there than in a not so good action movie. There's purposeful efficient action, beautiful and elegant movement, gut-clenching suspense, unexpected outcomes, and personalities as indelible as classic movie stars.

One tennis commentator said he loved tennis because it's non-contact, one on one, dual gender, international. I thought, me too.

But as soon as Snowpiercer plays here, I'll be right in line. So many of my favorites in that cast!

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteradri

sanfran -- you liked boulevard? i thought it was really weak though I did think the guy playing the hustler did really well considering how tricky that role was as written

david - lol. free and you still want your money back !

June 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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