‘Transformers’: Worst-reviewed $400M hit?
By David Germain
LOS ANGELES — After just five days, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is halfway to $400 million domestically, a box-office milestone only eight other movies have reached. If it climbs that high, the “Transformers” sequel will be by far the worst-reviewed movie ever to make the $400 million club.
Critics and mainstream crowds often disagree, but “Revenge of the Fallen” sets a new standard for the gulf between what reviewers and mass audiences like.
The movie pulled in $200.1 million since opening Wednesday, the second-best result for a movie in its first five days, just behind “The Dark Knight” with $203.8 million. Even after its whopping $60.6 million opening day, “Revenge of the Fallen” was packing theaters, a sign that unlike critics, who mostly hated the movie, audiences felt they were getting their money’s worth and were giving the flick good word of mouth.
Critics “forget what the goal of the movie was. The goal of the movie is to entertain and have fun,” said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount, which is distributing “Transformers” for DreamWorks. “What the audience tells us is, ‘We couldn’t be more entertained and having more fun.’”
According to Paramount’s exit polls, 91 percent of the audience thought the sequel was as good as or better than the first “Transformers,” which received far better reviews.
Most of Hollywood’s all-time biggest hits are accompanied by either good or at least passable reviews, and some can be among the year’s most-acclaimed, such as this year’s “Up” and “Star Trek” and last year’s “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E” and “Iron Man.”