Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Garbotron At Transformers Premiere

Louis L. sent me the link to below YouTube of Garbotron, the transforming trashcan. Its an amusing clip filed on July 3rd at the New York showing of Transformers. I was personally fascinated by the interest of the bystanders who stuck around and watch and seemed to enjoy the costume.

Another Transformers Animated Clip

Up on YouTube is another animated movie clip that apparently was looped during an autograph session at the San Diego Comic-Con. A longer clip can also be found here. If interested in talking about it, the thread discussing it can be found here on the Transformers Live Forum.

Final Numbers for 4 Week

Monday has come and gone and here are the final numbers for week 4 including domestic box office. Thanks to foreign sales boosted by openings in U.K, France, Hong Kong and Belgium, Transformers has tipped over the half a billion mark. I guess all thats last is Japan and Germany and the movie will finally have been released worldwide.

Top 5 Movies of 2007:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End numbers:
Budget: 300 million
Opening Weekend: 114.7 million
Total Domestic: 306.9 million
Total Foreign: 640.6 million
Worldwide Total: 947.5 million

2. Spider-Man 3 Numbers:
Budget: 258 million
Opening Weekend: 151.1million
Total Domestic: 336.0 million
Total Foreign: 552.8 million
Worldwide Total: 888.8 million

3. Shrek 3 Numbers:
Budget: 160 million
Opening Weekend: 121.6 million
Total Domestic: 319.8 million
Total Foreign: 398.4 million
Worldwide Total: 718.2 million

4. Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix Numbers:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 77.4 million
Total Domestic: 242.4 million
Total Foreign: 454 million
Worldwide Total: 969.4 million

5. Transformers Numbers:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 67.6 million
Total Domestic: 284.7 million
Total Foreign: 248.5 million
Worldwide Total: 533.2 million

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend Box Office Estimates

End of the weekend comes the latest box office estimates. The values will probably change with final numbers coming Monday and don't include updated foreign sales from the last week.

Weekend numbers in millions:
1. Simpsons $71.8
2. Chuck and Larry $19.0
3. Harry Potter 5 $17.0
4. Hairspray $15.5
5. No Reservations $11.7
6. Transformers $11.5

Top 5 Movies for 2007:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Budget: 300 million
Opening Weekend: 114.7 million
Total Domestic: 306.4 million
Total Foreign: 640.6 million
Worldwide Total: 947.1 million

2. Spider-Man 3 Numbers:
Budget: 258 million
Opening Weekend: 151.1million
Total Domestic: 335.6 million
Total Foreign: 552.8 million
Worldwide Total: 888.4million

3. Shrek 3 Numbers:
Budget: 160 million
Opening Weekend: 121.6 million
Total Domestic: 319.2 million
Total Foreign: 382.2 million
Worldwide Total: 702.0 million

4. Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix Numbers:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 77.4 million
Total Domestic: 241.7 million
Total Foreign: 351.3 million
Worldwide Total: 593.0 million

5. Transformers Numbers:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 67.6 million
Total Domestic: 262.9 million
Total Foreign: 146.6 million
Worldwide Total: 409.6 million

Transformers Score Coming?

It appears that the Transformers Score may be back on. At least according to Chandra Cogburn, who was one of the composers for the film. I thought that Steve Jablonsky was the composer but maybe its like assistant composer or something. Beats me. This bit of news is a turnaround from previous news that the Transformers Score had been cancelled by Sony Music.

From The Knight Shift blog:
There will be an album of Transformers score coming out soon. I do not know the details, as I am not working on it. Thanks so much for appreciating the music, and all our hard work!

Best,
Chandra Cogburn
On, off, on again, beats me. Guess find out soon one way or the other.

San Diego Comic-Con News

TFormers.com has posted a concise list of the information released about the upcoming toy, cartoon, and comic future for the next year. Click here to read it.

The summarize it even further:

Upcoming Comics
- Devastion storyarc, Spotlight books on Optimus Prime, Galvatron, and Ramjet.
- Beast Wars gets a new mini with The Ascending and Sourcebook.
- Live action movie comics that take place after the end of the movie.
- Tranformers Animated planned
- Target exclusive comic will be included with the DVD

Toys
- "Allspark Power", part of the movie line that consists of what seems to be 50% new designs and 50% repaints (sadly common from Hasbro nowadays). A gallery can be seen here of some of the line.
- Robot Heroes (basically action figures) expanded to include G1 and Beast Wars
- Classics line starts again in fall 2008 with 8 deluxe figures and 3-4 ultras.
- Transformers Animated toys planned that matches cartoon look

Transformers Animated
- New TF cartoon for Cartoon Network. Can see a clip here. Personally not interested as just continuation of the anime "Teen Titans" look with storytelling style for 10 year olds. In other words great for their target audience just not me.

U.K. Transformers Out

A little delayed, but a reminder that Transformers is out in the United Kingdom. What remains is Japan (August 3rd), France, and Germany. Don't know the release date for the last two. So with that comes another alteration for the left side time clock, a final countdown for Japan.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Blog Future

The movie has almost been out a month now and the question this blog faces is what next? End it, continue it, change it to something else? Luckily, with the success of the movie and the un-official but essentially official Transformers II already in the preliminary stages, its really not a concern. The blog shall continue.

It will however probably also change just a bit. It will, for a while anyway, probably cover Transformers in the generic sense, not just in a movie related way. The main reason for that honestly is simply filler. The movie news is probably going to be far and few between for a while as pre-production on a movie tends to be relatively quiet in the news area. Might as well post something because nothing is more annoying then a blog that goes quiet for months at a time. When news does break I will post about it though.

What is the immediate future for this first movie? Well, you have U.K. getting a chance to enjoy some Transformers goodness in about 12 hours or so. Then a week later its Japan's turn. Also the San Diego Comic-con is currently going on so maybe some info will leak out (doubtful but never know). Then there is the DVD release that is probably coming in late November (my guess, not confirmed). After that, its hoping information gets leaked as it appears the preliminary goal for a sequel release is 2009. To achieve that and give Hasbro time to do their toy thing, that means a script, cast, and designs probably needs to be nailed down no later then May 2008 (if not sooner).

Finally, I have started two additional blogs in the same format as this one. One is devoted to information about Star Trek XI and the other Monstrous aka Cloverfield. Fan of Star Trek, have liked JJ Abrams work in the past, so hopefully it will prove a good expansion.

Thanks to all the site readers for making the blog pretty successful (to me anyway). Also thanks to the site tippers who provided me with links and other information. Thanks to Chad T. for the Transformers Live Forum (check it out if haven't).

The blog continues and may the next movie be just as successful as the first.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Transformers Score Cancelled?

While it was never confirmed or announced to begin with, it seems that Sony Music decided to not release the score from Transformers. According to Knight Shift, via Superhero Hype forums that SonyMusicStore Customer Service replied in to an inquiry about the score with "At this time, there are no immediate plans regarding the release of the Transformers soundtrack score."

I can't say I am suprised. The movie has been released in most of the world for nearly a month now but no score CD to go with it, when the sales would be highest, pretty much proved that there was no plans for the score album to begin with.

If want to read the full report, click here. There is also an online petition for the score here. Probably will not work but can't hurt to sign I guess.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Transformers Sequel Character Poll Results

USA Today has the results of the poll to find out what Transformers character they would prefer to be in the sequel. The winner was Soundwave.

Top 5:
1. Soundwave: 20%
2. Devastator: 16%
2. Grimlock: 16%
3. Jetfire: 11%
4. Ultra Magnus: 9%
5. Shockwave: 9%

If there producers and screenwriters are serious about using this poll as guidance for a sequel then they have a heck of a challenge with Soundwave. I think they will have no choice but ignore his music origins and instead focus on a military aspect of his name. IE sound. Such as radar and communications. I know next to nothing about the military but I bet there are planes and vehicles that are dedicated to communications, radar and the like that would fit the moniker of Soundwave.
Update: Click here for example of what would be a good alt design for Soundwave. I previousily posted the head pics but this is the first time seen the body and alt design (Balkan MK6). Thanks to Zepplin for the link.

For Devastator, that's a no brainer. If the budget is there, all you have to show is the Constructicons merging into a 150 feet or so tall robot (using Bonecrusher to estimate size). That alone would sell the movie.

Grimlock or any Dinobot would probably be in name only. A transforming robot dinosaur would require to much from the audience in the suspension of disbelief. A Transfans would love it, but the public in general would probably just go "WTF?". Like the Alternator line, just make him a muscle car with sword if want to have him.

Jetfire, pff doesn't need to be in the movie, but if wanted him, that's easy. Pick an awesome military plane and script a dogfight between him, Starscream and maybe another Decepticon flyer. Have switch between robot modes and planes modes in attempt to take each other down until maybe jetfire does a mid air tackle of Starscream, tearing his wing off and bringing the fight to the ground.

Ultra Magnus is redundant. Already have Prime, so just no point.

Shockwave to me should be the main villian of the next movie that unleashes Devastator on the unsuspecting Autobots (a prequel could make it seem they think he was destroyed in a Cybertronian battle but recovered by Shockwave). Give him an earth form of a devastating military vehicle designed for power. Something that when unleashes its full weaponry literally causes shockwaves on the ground. Just make sure to give him a purple hint and the cyclops look.

Final Box Office Numbers For Week 3

The adjusted and final numbers are out for Transformers and other movies including updated foreign sales. Suffice it to say, Dreamworks must be pleased with a worldwide gross of $453,612,650, $263 million that from the US and $190 from foreign markets. This is a number that doesn't even include the 4 largest markets (or countries) - Japan (out 8/4/07), U.K. (out 7/27/07), Germany (out don't know), and France (out don't know). Thanks to Harry Potter 5 worldwide release, its already jumped to #4 for movies for 2007, most of that money from overseas sales. Once the above 4 countries get Transformers, hopefully that will change (mostly for bragging rights).

Top 5 for 2007

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Budget: 300 million
Opening Weekend: 114.7 million
Total Domestic: 306.0 million
Total Foreign: 634.0 million
Worldwide Total: 940.1 million

2. Spider-Man 3:
Budget: 258 million
Opening Weekend: 151.1 million
Total Domestic: 335.6 million
Total Foreign: 552.8 million
Worldwide Total: 888.4 million

3. Shrek 3:
Budget: 160 million
Opening Weekend: 121.6 million
Total Domestic: 319.9 million
Total Foreign: 382.7 million
Worldwide Total: 701.6 million

4. Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 77.4 million
Total Domestic: 207.8 million
Total Foreign: 351.3 million
Worldwide Total: 559.1 milliion

5. Transformers:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 67.6 million
Total Domestic: 263 million
Total Foreign: 190.6 million
Worldwide Total: 453.6 million

3 Million Transformers Sold

Hasbro reported that higher profits and sales in a large part due to the success of Transformers and its related product line. "'Transformers' has been a unique box office success. Our U.S. retail sales of [the new] Transformers toys have exceeded our expectations with 3 million units sold since the launch," Hasbro CEO Alfred Verrecchia said during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company's results. He also said that a second movie is possible but then we already knew that.

An additional comment of note, due to Hasbro not making money off the movie itself was, "A number of our brands have a [movie] potential and we are working on several opportunities. Right now we have not financed 'Transformers,' but that could change in the future," Verrecchia said. He declined to elaborate. This is an important comment as one of the largest barriers to movie making is financing. Studios like it when they can share the risk with others.

The rest of the report was about Hasbro's other properties, Barbie, games and so forth. The main takeaway for Transfans is the line has a bright future and probably many converts. The only thing that Hasbro's participation in financing a Transformers sequel would mean a larger budget, but realistically if I where Dreamworks I would decline as the Transformers franchise is now proven to be a probably success so sharing the risk (and therefore the profits) is not a necessity.
(Source)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Week 3 Estimated Box Office

Its been about 20 days since the U.S. release of Transformers and the money keeps flowing. According to weekend box office estimates, The Transformers came in 4th this weekend with a respectable $20.5 million. Hairspray was 3rd with $27.9, Harry Potter took a 58% hit in its second week (TF only had a 47%) taking in $32.2 million and Chuck and Larry was number 1 with $34.8 million.

Now these are only estimates so the numbers could change a little but doubt enough to effect the rankings. With the Simpsons coming next week should be interesting to see what effect it may have on these films. I suspect that all the bad reviews for Chuck and Larry will result in a massive nose dive (say 65%), Harry Potter will hold mostly steady now that the Book 7 release is done (excellent book btw), and Hairspray can only go down too.

Below are the over-all standings for the top 5 films of 2007, foreign estimates are from last Tuesday so will only go up in a few days. One thing these numbers show is foreign dollars (the rest of the world) is going to have more and more an impact on the decisions that Hollywood as the domestic box office is no longer indicative of whether a movie is a success or not.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Budget: 300 million
Opening Weekend: 114.7 million
Total Domestic: 306.0 million
Total Foreign: 634.0 million
Worldwide Total: 940.1 million

2. Spider-Man 3 Numbers:
Budget: 258 million
Opening Weekend: 151.1million
Total Domestic: 335.3 million
Total Foreign: 550.9 million
Worldwide Total: 886.2million

3. Shrek 3 Numbers:
Budget: 160 million
Opening Weekend: 121.6 million
Total Domestic: 318.5 million
Total Foreign: 361.2 million
Worldwide Total: 679.7 million

4. Transformers Numbers:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 67.6 million
Total Domestic: 262.9 million
Total Foreign: 146.6 million
Worldwide Total: 409.6 million

5. Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix Numbers:
Budget: 150 million
Opening Weekend: 77.4 million
Total Domestic: 207.5 million
Total Foreign: 193.0 million
Worldwide Total: 400.5 milliion

Transformers DVD Release Info

From Michael Bay's official blog comes some news about some of the extras the DVDs will have. As I predicted, there will be two edition, a regular and a special edition issue.

From the blog:
The Transformers DVD...when does it come out you ask. What's it gonna have? What I can tell you is this: there will be 2 versions:

1- A regular version with no extras (just a director commentary).

2.- A multi-disc version with the movie w/ director's commentary and additional disc(s) with tons of extra stuff.

Transformers will also be available on HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ben Procter Transformers Designs

Ben Proctor, Lead Robot Illustrator for Transformers, has posted up many designs, videos and explanations for the movie version of Transformers. Be sure to click all the images as they are not just thumbnails of the entire picture but a window into just one portion of the whole. Definitely a must see website for any Transfan. Also be sure to check out other projects as also show great designs for other movies such as Superman Returns and many more projects. Below is the hi-res final design ILM version of Optimus so can have fun with the details. Be sure to check the full gallery above for more hi res pics. Thanks to readers for the link.

Interesting discoveries includes Blackout naming goes from Devastator to Incinerator and then Blackout. Design work for the Transformers apparently started in mid to late 2005 with final designs confirmed around February 2006. Awesome prop that should get re-created and sold - Frenzy's blades. I noticed that Frenzy's design work went up to June 06, probably because no toy would designed so didn't need to give Hasbro the same year plus lead time for toy production. Other pics of note include the Mountain Dew bot, Toaster-bot used in the Dew commerical, Nokia Bot, and AllSpark which has lots of detail on its surface.

Ben Procter TF Designs - Talk about the how to of the process, very interesting read.
Gallery of Designs - 99 pics of TF design goodness. Go to bottom, many have hi-res versions availabe.

Transformers - Hollywood Sell-outs Video

For those that hate Bay's Transformers and Bay in general will probably find the below video especially funny.

(source)

Lego Optimus Prime

Someone must be a fan of the movie version of Optimus Prime, by going so far as to build a pretty slick Lego version of him.

Click here for the gallery of pics.

Giant Gundum Robot

Apparently the Japanese love their Gundum, with someone going so far as to build a real sized version of one of the robots. Why? Based on the gallery it looks like for tourists bucks. Might be better reasons but the gallery of pics was cool so reasons why not so important. I wonder why not a Optimus Prime life size? They should add that to the to do list.

Full gallery here. - In Japanese so if can't read it just scroll down the page for lots of pics.


Update: Click here for an english translation of the site which indicates its a ride. Thanks to Taz for the link.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vote For Favorite Transformers Character for Sequel


USA Today is running a poll to comment on what Transformers you would like to see in the sequel. Just note, its a poll, not a gaurantee, but based on the below, the producers are paying attention so it can't hurt to have your opinion known.

Vote for your favorite 'Transformers' character
The producers of the blockbuster live-action Transformers movie are putting together plans for a sequel, and they say fan input will weigh heavily on their choices."We want what the fans want," says producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. "We'll listen and see if we can discern if what makes sense and what kind of movie they would like to see." Vote for the character you would like to see in a Transformers sequel above, then tell us why in the comments box below.
To vote, click here.

Info from Seibetron, via Chad T. Also be sure to discuss your opinions at the Transformers Live forums.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Transformers Collection for 1 Million?

An absolutely drool worthy Transformers collection (see pic) was apparently put up on eBay that sold for $1 million dollars. The collection is 275 items or 101 Autobots, 81 Decepticons, and 92 Licensed items.

Its times like these that makes you wish you where 25 rather then 10 when Transformers came out so could have such an awesome collection too. Whether its a legit bid is up in the air. If the same buyer wants to match many of the items from that collection with opened box items, he should look me up.

About the collector/seller:
Of course, one Transformer turned into five, then ten, then almost too many to keep track of as each shiny new box revealed a growing checklist that hounded us to 'COLLECT THEM ALL.'

And collect them all, we did! This collection includes every single Transformer produced in 1984, 1985, 1986, and all but a handful of pieces from 1987 (according to Hasbro's web site, we missed a set of five Targetmaster Autobots and three Decepticons.) There are even a few pieces from 1988 and 1989 for good measure.

So what happened in 1987 that thwarted our efforts to 'collect them all?' Well it turns out that Anthony never would totally recover from that motorcycle accident. He suffered from the genetic bleeding disorder hemophilia and a test done in August of 1987 showed that he had been infected with HIV by the anti-hemophilia treatment he was given while hospitalized for the accident in 1983.

HIV not only brought our Transformer collecting to an end, it also ended our dream of a family: the kids we thought would play with these toys one day; the toddler I thought would wear the t-shirt that is part of this collection. Anthony and I would not even get to grow old together; he died of AIDS in 1998 at the age of forty.
So take a moment and walk down nostalgia lane as you view the many Transformers, mint-in-box, that you probably wanted to buy as a child and couldn't. If I was a millionaire, there would have been a bidding war.

Autobots - keep scrolling down to bid page
Decepticons

Optimus Prime Pimp My Whip

Attack of the Show a week or so ago aired an a funny skit called "Pimp My Whip" with where Optimus Prime gets pimped out. Optimus wants better weapons and the "host" had other ideas. Thanks to Mike S. for the link.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Final Numbers For Transformers Week 2

The official numbers are now out for Transformers including update foreign box office grosses. Currently Transfomers remains ahead of Harry 5 in the worldwide money making department but I doubt that lead will remain. Not really suprised, its Harry 5, thats 4 DVDs, 6 books, lots of TV and cable time and so forth to help promote the current film. Still, for unknown property to most, Transformers held its own.

The revised numbers show that Transformers only lost 47% by taking in $47.1 million rather then 49% and $36 million as the estimates reported. It standing at $224 million in 13 days for the U.S. The total for rest of the world (with still major countries not yet released in) is $146.6 million for a total of $370.7 million. Basically an impresive showing for a new franchise that may rival Spider-Man when its all said and done if handled well.

Transformers:
U.S.A.: $224.009,583
Foriegn: $146,657,283
Total: $370,666,866

Harry Potter 5:
U.S.A.: $139,715,157
Foriegn: $193,000,000
Total: $332,715,157

What Happened To Sector 7 Website

The film is out, Sector 7 has been "dissolved" but the story of the website hasn't been completed. Who is Agent X (likely Prime but not confirmed), what happened to Dr. Howard and Agent Whathisname? Are they going to complete the game or is this the end of the game?

Bay: Transformers 2 "Right Now"

From ENI comes this little comment from Michael Bay:
A sequel to Hollywood blockbuster TRANSFORMERS is in the works, according to director MICHAEL BAY.

The movie - which stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, has already grossed $220 million (£110 million) since its release earlier this month (Jul07) and Bay is desperate to oversee the follow up.

He says, "We want to start working on a sequel right now, so we'll see."
This is actually the first time news of a sequel has been confirmed from an "official" source, ie Bay. Everything has been mostly in the rumor stage. Almost confirming a sequel but not yet just saying "yep its greenlit." The importance of a greenlit project is that it means that its most likely going to happen and that budget has mostly been nailed down. Until then its all just working out ideas and debating the possibilities.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Transformers Week 2 Box Office

This week it was Transformers vs Harry Potter for the box office dollar and as expected Harry Potter won. According to CNN, Harry Potter 5 made and estimated $77.4 million over the weekend to Transformers $36 million. As a result, Potter made $140 million in the US and a huge $190.3 for 44 markets in other countries bringing its worldwide gross to $330.3 million. Transformers at the end of week two is sitting on $223 million for the U.S. and $98 for rest of the world with a total of $330 million. So technically Harry passed Transformers in its first week. However, Transformers still have France, Great Britan, Japan and a few other major markets to open in. Nor is the foreign gross estimate up to date.

The numbers are not surprising when its a new franchise vs an established franchise. Nor a surprise when Transformers was released on 4000 screens in the U.S. and piecemeal across the world (with major markets to go) and Harry Potter was released on on 9000 screens in the U.S. and worldwide in all markets.

While I think the 9000 screens is a bit excessive, Transformers decisions makers should note the success of the simultaneous worldwide release and copy it for Transformers II. Really though, considering the number of screens and the history of the Potter films, Transformers more then held its own. Usually in the face of such competition, everyone else gets lost in the crowd but instead had a weekend that most movies brag about. It should also be noted it "only" dropped 49% from the previous weekend. Considering the average film looses about 60-65% percent from one weekend to the next, that's a pretty darn good number. It looks like the race for summer box office champ is still undecided. Harry 5 is the last major film of this class for the summer. How much it drops next weekend might give a clearer picture of who ends up on top. I just want to hear the official news of a sequel.

The Editing of Transformers

FX Guide has an article up that covers the effort that went into editing Transformers together. It also has a brief interview with Michael Bay that focuses on the editing aspect of putting the movie together.

The full article is here.

Some highlights:
- Editor Glen Scantleberry worked about 10.5 months editing Transformers together with a lot of it being alternate edits together for Bay to choose from and modify.
- Often used pre-visualizations to help edit the movie together since working off of footage that didn't yet include the CGI robots and needed to get timing right so could turn the edit over to ILM for inserting the CGI.
- Animatics where used in the editing but sometimes changes where made based on set or post production ideas (wonder how much included CGI heavy shots though).
- 5 editors and 1 associate editor worked on the film, all of whom worked with Bay in the past.
- The editors where not fans of the Transformers so Bay had to make sure they didn't cut out references.
- To edit, will put together a full length guild, with animatics, temp dialogue, temp music and temp sound effects to get idea of how things may go together. Usually the storyboards are the guide but subject to change based on director decisions during shooting.
- Bay had final-cut on the film so the theatrical version is the "Director's Cut". (It's why hear about "Extended Edition" DVDs instead as its the Director's Cut with cut scenes added back. If hear about a Director's Cut it usually means the studio had final say on how the movie was put together, usually for the worse cause of too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome.)
- "There are about 630 visual effects shots in the film. There are 430 executed at ILM, 91 at Digital Domain, 70 at the Asylum and the rest are 2D clean up and fixes done by CO3, ISolve and Ken Blackwell. Technical advancements were made in environments, lighting, and simulation of physical effects and integration of CG characters in a real environment."
- ILM did the Transformers, Digital Domain on other scenes including the soft-drink robot.
- “Overall, the most challenging shot is OH020 which is a 360 degree descending camera move on Optimus that rotating around to reveal all four Autobots transforming in an alley”, says ILM visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar. “The shot was filmed in two separate camera moves from two separate rigs: a Russian arm mounted to a camera car and a 50-foot Technocrane. The plates were combined and blended. The 768-frame-long shot moves from an overhead medium close up on Optimus finishing his transformation, into an extreme close up of all the moving parts, then widening out to reveal our hero talent. Shia and Megan watch all four robots individually transform with their own unique style.”
- 1.2 million feet of film shot for the movie

Friday, July 13, 2007

Fake Transformers 2 Synopsis on IMDB

IMDB.com has up a fake synopsis for Transformers 2 that basically touts the return of Megatron seeking revenge. According to Defamer.com this synopsis is from XXX: State of the Union director Lee Tamahori as a pitch to Paramount. Pic below also from Defamer, as IMDB will probably be modified at a later date and worth saving the current description for posterity.

You Can Own Ironhide

Edmunds.com is reporting that GM is producing Ironhide version of the GMC TopKick 6500. Apparently the truck is being built with help from Monroe Truck Equipment and ok from Hasbro. Info from Seibertron.com via TF Live Message Boards.

The article:
MONROE, Wis. — All Transformers fans know that Ironhide is the slowest Autobot, but also the least vulnerable to attack. He transforms into a GMC TopKick 6500 pickup — and now a GM tuner has rolled out a production version.

Monroe Truck Equipment, in association with toymaker Hasbro, says the production version of Ironhide includes custom 20-inch aluminum painted black wheels fitted with monster 40-inch tires. The GMC TopKick normally comes equipped with dual rear wheels.

Other details include two chrome big-rig smokestacks, horizontal stainless steel step tubes, custom front and rear bumpers with textured powder-coat finish, and a 16,000-pound winch mounted on the front bumper.

As Ironhide would say, "High-tech circuitry is no replacement for guts."

What this means to you: Now you can look and feel like Ironhide.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Transformers' Art Director Career Article

CGSociety.com has posted a great interview with Transformers' Art Director Alex Jaeger showing off a few early concept designs for Transformers, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Pearl Harbor. Check out the article if only for the art designs and concepts that where included. If don't like the head designs, he is the man to dislike (along with Bay).

Click here for the full article. The left pic is stats (click for bigger pic) on the Transformers and the number of pieces that comprises them. The pic on the right is an early concept design for Megatron by Alex Jaeger.

Some highlights:
- Career started at age 21 as Art Director on Star Trek: First Contact
- When designing Bumblebee, stuck with the original silhouette of the character but changed the horns for fins to help convey emotion, "like a dogs ears."
- Because Bumblebee didn't have a mouth, was difficult to design so could convey emotion. Used the same artwork, configured for different poses and facial expressions to test how emotion on the character.
- Alot of the transformation design involved working out what pieces could be moved, combined, etc to become the necessary part of the robot design.
- Jaeger spent about 2 years in working on the Transformer designs.
- Trips to auto shows, videos, and photos where used to help gets details correct such as light reflections on the metal surfaces and get texture and the like correct.
- Further modifications done to transformations reduce a busy look, so "We had to get some cohesiveness so they didn’t feel like walking junk piles, so we did a lot of posing the characters to try and tuck pieces in and get a cleaner silhouette, so that even at a quick glance you can tell what he is doing, what direction he is looking"
- Jaeger designed or helped design all the Tranformer heads.
(source)

Wizard Interview of Orci and Kurtzman

Wizard Universe has posted a transcript of a Q&A session with Transformers' writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman during Botcon a week or so ago.

The full transcript is here.

The highlights:
- Starscream's role was small due to the movie's structure with the late introduction of all the Decepticons and desire to tell the film from Sam's point of view.
- Arcee was planned for the film but dropped because of scale. Alt mode would have been a motorcycle and compared to the rest, would have been too tiny. Wreckage apparently was in any of their drafts.
- The writers would "love to be involved" in a sequel but "schedule won't allow that."
- The dog was supposed to be a pit pull but Bay decided a Chihuahua would be funnier.
- Provided a neutral answer on the multiple producer roles, basically saying Spielberg was great and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura provided the time they needed to figure out the script while under studio pressure.
- The writers do wish more time could have been spent developing the various Transformers and 2nd tier(my phrase) human characters.
- Provided an on the spot explanation, not related to any sequel, on how could add Dinobots to a sequel: "you would flashback to protoforms arriving and finding dinosaurs on our planet and trans-scanning dinosaurs and reshaping themselves into dinosaurs."

Mark Ryan Hints At Transformers II Prequel

Mark Ryan, the voice of Bumblebee in Transformers, had an interview with sknr.net talking about working on Transformers and also hinted at a DVD special feature, "I recently recorded more material for the DVD release of the film. It has to do with the Prequel that will set up the second film."

Main parts of the interview:
GVK: How did you get involved with “Transformers”?
MR: I have done 10 years in theater, some have said I have had a varied career, and I look at it as a shotgun blast of creativity. I got a call, it was all very secret and I was not even sure what I was reading for. I was not to learn the lines given to me, simply come in and read them. Since I did not know the project, you have to come in with your take and hope your personality and talent are right for the job. I actually read 5 characters doing the same scene at different times.

GVK: What sort of prep work did you do once you had landed the part?
MR: I did not see the television show when it aired in the U.K. as I was doing a lot of acting at the time so I came into it very fresh. I went online, did research, and talked to friends and fans of the show to get a take on the characters.

GVK: You were the onset voice for the characters during filming, what was that like and was it difficult acting against virtual elements?
MR: It was a lot of fun; I fed lines to Shia who was acting against giant poles with lights on them. Shia is very funny and spontaneous, and is actually very good at what he does as Michael would explain the scenes to us, and we had to imagine that the poles were gigantic robots, and make sure to really allow the characters to come through.

GVK: During the studio process of recording the voices, was Michael Bay present?
MR: He was there every day; often he was the only person there. It was the most fun I had, as during post production, Michael would shoo people from the studio so we could get the lines down. Michael likes to have fun and he has a very cheeky, child like humor to him. He would say a line and then ask me to say it like he just did, only to make it funny.

GVK: Did you see a complete script while filming or did you just have your lines?
MR: The script on set changed a lot. One day I noted some new lines in, and thought that it would change the plot in a dramatic way. Michael was very guarded on the
project as they had a computer hacked and someone got a copy of the script as well as some of the graphics for the film.

GVK: Since you did all the voices on set, how did you end up being Bumblebee?
MR: I got a call saying I was doing the Bumblebee character, and I said I do not believe I have done the lines for that. Since I had recorded many voices and lines in studio, they played me back a recording and sure enough, it was me doing the lines that came to be Bumblebee. When I had read them, they were not assigned as lines to Bumblebee, and since I had not read that he had his speech restored in the
script, it was a pleasant surprise.

GVK: Did you get to work with Stephen Spielberg at all?
MR: No, I would have liked to, but I think Stephen is a very smart director. When I was doing King Arthur, I saw Jerry (Bruckheimer) twice. Stephen is very wise in that he has hired a good Director and lets him do the job that he was hired to do, without interfering with his work. Michael was very good and really did very well with the film.

GVK: What were your thoughts about Bumblebee being a Camaro over a Volkswagen?
MR: Having not seen the original show when it first ran, I did not have an emotional connection to him being a Volkswagen. When I saw the Camaro shot though, I said “that isn’t Herbie that is one sexy beast”.

GVK: You also do all the voices in the video game, what was that like and did you use lines from the film or all new lines?
MR: I had a lot of fun with Iron Hide, and some of the other odd voices. We had a mix of lines as well, old and new.

GVK: Final question, have you heard anything about a sequel or been asked to be a part of future films?
MR:(Chuckles), funny you should say that so I will tell you what I can. I recently recorded more material for the DVD release of the film. It has to do with the Prequel that will set up the second film.
(source)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Transformers "Boast-Copy"

Defamer.com had a little fun today with Paramount's "boast-copy" in Variety of Transformers first week of sales with its use of a qualifier "ALL TIME", then in smaller print "For a Non-Sequel Film." Sadly that streak is going to end as Harry Potter (good movie btw) has come out and apparently on 9,000 screens in 4,200 or so locations. Nope that is not a typo. By comparison, Transformers was out on 4,011 screens. With that kind of coverage, if they don't get a record of some sort, heads will roll.

New Japan Transformers Poster

Japan sadly will not get to enjoy Transformers goodness until August. Until then, here is a new poster that is very nice and dynamic. One of the best really. Corrected post title.

(source)

MTV TakeDown Notice

Apparently MTV has decided to send a takedown notice for a post of mine from last month regarding the MTV movie awards. Apparently the content in question is (now old) footage that they showed that then came up on YouTube. I guess anything that helps promote MTV and Transformers for free is not allowed.

Blogger is simply doing their job but do wish they would do a better job of vetting the complaint since often times its lawyers send complaints without any real thought given, nor care really, to the validity of the complaint. In this case, I think the content holder would be Paramount as the footage is Transformers, and MTV doesn't really have grounds to complain. Its mindless crap like this that further proves that copyright law needs to be rebuilt from scratch.

Here is the full notice:
Hello,

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that content in your blog:

transformerslive.blogspot.com

allegedly infringes upon the copyrights of others. The content in question is located in the following posts:

http://transformerslive.blogspot.com/2007/06/mtv-awards-transformers-clips.html

The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects, and we will send you the link of this notice. We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. Please see http://www.educause.edu/Browse/645?PARENT_ID=254 for more information about the DMCA, and see http://www.google.com/blogger_dmca.html for the process that Blogger
requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.

We are asking that you please remove the allegedly infringing content in your blog. If you do not do this within the next 3 days (by 7/13/07), we will be forced to remove the posts in question. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits.

We can reinstate this content into your blog upon receipt of a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and (3) of the DMCA. For more information about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample counter notification, see http://www.google.com/blogger_dmca.html#counter.

Please note that repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account.

If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel. If you have any other questions about this notification, please let us know.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,
The Blogger Team

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

2 Stan Bush Tracks For Free

Hasbro.com is hosting two Transformers themed songs from Stan Bush.

From the site:
Now you can download 2 great TRANSFORMERS songs from Stan Bush! “The Touch” was originally released in 1986 with the original animated The Transformers: The Movie. Stan has re-recorded it for his new CD entitled In This Life. Stan also wrote a new song about TRANSFORMERS that was the theme song for BotCon 2007 entitled “Til All Are One”, which also appears on the In This Life CD. For more information about Stan Bush or to purchase his new CD, you can go to StanBush.com. Thanks Stan!

Download "The Touch" (right click to save file) 5 mb

Download "Til All Are One" (right click to save file) 6 mb

DVD Special Features Wish List

The movie has been out a week, so now its time to think DVD release. Based on history I expect the DVD will come towards the end November or early December for Christmas sales. I also expect the very irritating current 2 edition DVD release. The first will likely be the movie, some trailers, and the HBO First Look. The "Special Edition" will be an extra DVD with more more behind the scenes stuff and other marketing materials put together during the movie's production. Michael Bay tends to do commentary so that may be on both editions.

I do hope there is something more though. I kept hoping the studios would follow the wonder and extra feature treasure chest of the Lord of the Rings DVD sets. All of them had outstanding how to features, documentary style programs, multiple commentary tracks, fully extended editions with completed effects. I want the same treatment for Transformers. I will not happen, the bean counters probably say the cost versus the reward isn't worth it so not holding my breath.

More then likely the material for the DVDs have been decided, recorded, and already edited together. But for the sake of argument, what would be your wish list of special features for the Transformers DVD? Probably will never happen as time, money and ego will prevent it, but why not.

Here are mine:
- Director, writers, and producers commentary track
- Actors commentary track
- Special effects and visual effects commentary track with split-screen, one to show the movie, the other to show how did the various real and CGI effects for the movie.
- Frank Welker as Megatron alternate track.
- LOTR documentary style feature on how the film was put together from pre-production up to opening night. None of the usual back-patting and selling of the film, but a real, this is how its done "movie".
- All the TV Spots, Trailers (US and international) and posters.
- Extended edition with completed effects that had to be left on the cutting room floor but really wanted in the film.

Transformers Humor

Some videos with some Transformers related humor. One is David Letterman remembering a childhood activity with the Optimus Prime Big Blaster and the other comes from Robot Chicken. The last wonders if Transformers will blend.

David Letterman - Couldn't figure out how to embed

Monday, July 09, 2007

Kurtzman and Orci Post Move Q&A

The message boards over that Transformersmovie.com are hosting a post movie question and answer thread with Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman regarding Transformers. Keep in mind that these where the writers of the movie. They had input in the final product but what they put to paper and what Bay shot and edited together (ILM etc) isn't going to match up 100%.

Click here for the thread.
Here are some questions and answers already supplied, with my comments in parenthesis):
Was the Brawl/Devestator mixup on purpose, or was it indeed an editing oversight?
It's an Easter Egg for movie 2. (A joke? Hint of the arrival of the Constructicons? I vote for a joke.)

How come the Allspark created TFs were all Decepticons?
Prime intended to use the Allspark to repower Cybertron as it was intended. Megatron wants to abuse it by creating Transformers directly, which makes souless, primal Transformers. (Ah, hmm ok. So I guess the answer is yes, when "unfiltered" it creats evil Transformers).

Why did you guys make Megatron stronger than Prime? Is it simply that they are are of the same power, but Megatron is simply a little BIGGER or is Megatron just better than Prime is period? Or was Prime just having a bad fight this time?
I think a little of both. I agree that Prime should've gotten in a few good hits.

What were some of your favorites scenes that did not make it in the final cut?
Sam and Mikaela breaking into their own high school after hours with the Autobots.

What happened to Barricade & why wasn't it shown?
Threads for movie 2. (Hmm too pat an answer, I am going with cut scene)

How did Bumblebee regain his voice and why wasn't it explained?
When they Autobots land and introduce themselves to Sam and Mikaela, Ratchet explains that he's been working on BB voice and actually treats him with a regenerative plasma laser. By the end of the movie, it's worked its magic, but I agree it could've been clearer. (wha? The Doctor Who screwdriver thing Ratchet was holding in the Autobots intro? That? Yeah ok).

Was Sector 7 meant to be taken lightly? They came off a little slapstickish. I'm guessing it was just John Tututro's character.
Yes. Turturro was written that way. We didn't want to lose the fun of the cartoon, and we were already playing the military totally straight so we gambled that it would give us some freedom to go a little nuts. (Speaking of, when they going to finish the S7 website story arc?)

How sure can you be that certain eastereggs like Brawl/Devastator and Barricade vanishing will be picked up by the next script writers? What if they don't get it?
So many people from movie 1 are coming back that I'm sure they'll know. (Valid point)

After seeing Weaving doing Megatron, are you 100% happy with it or do you think Welker could have done an even better job then Weaving did?
Honestly, I think either would've worked, but I was happy. (Weaving was so generic, I preferred Welker).

Same question about the face plate on Prime, I know you were in favour of keeping it on permanently.
I think we would've kept it on the whole time. (As a Transfan, keep the mask, for general audience, I see why the decision was made to do without.)

Were these lines recorded by the voice actors?
Many lines were recorded for the movie that did not make it, sadly.

Were the lines that got cut the final Transformers lines you added?
Once we had all the voice actors hired, we wrote a few new lines for each to record that weren't in the script.
A handful of lines didn't make it to the final cut for each Transformer.

In the film we see that the "All Spark, Matrix" or whatever is really called turned whatever machine it touched into a killing bot! Why is this?
It is meant to power Cybertron, not adapt human technology. Also, since all earth's tech is reverse engineered from Megatron, maybe that affects the outcome, too.

Is there any size shifting? We see the Cube transform and shrink in size -- does Frenzy do something similar when he transforms into Mikaela's phone?
We didn't want Mass shifting for the TF's -- only for the Allspark. His head seems bigger than it is because of the shape, but it folds nicely into a phone size.

When Bumblebee is holding the Allspark after getting his legs blown off, why wasnt he healed the way Frenzy was upon his contact with it?
It might've corrupted him. (More likely a mistake, after all where did the extra body mass come from is no mass shifting?)

Bay wants an Aircraft carrier Transformer, Autobot or Decepticon, and who the hell would it be?
When he told us that, we were like, "Good luck getting the money for that!" We knew it would never make it, but we did write it into one of the intermediate drafts. (Like the scale the man was thinking on.)

Final Box Office Numbers for First Week

The final numbers have come in for Transformers for the weekend with a $4M bump in numbers for Sunday then estimated before, now at $22,144,125. As pointed out by a site reader, this moves some of the box office standings for Transformers up a few notches. In all time domestic grosses, its a change from 151 to 144. For all time worldwide, not its 221 rather then 232 and for 2007 Yearly Worldwide Gross its a bump to 5th from 6th. Grand total for the first week in the US: $155,405,412. Total Worldwide: $252,098,405.

US Daily Breakdown from Box Office Mojo:

07/02: $8,801,025
07/03: $27,851,016
07/04: $29,073,898
07/05: $19,177,089
07/06: $22,656,420
07/07: $25,701,839
07/08: $22,144,125
------------------
Total: $$155,405,412

Transformers Movie Props Update

The movie props auction that is currently going on, for the Fisher House Foundation which helps families of hospitalized military personnel and veterans, has been updated with some sweet new movie props including the '76 Camaro Bumblebee, the Allspark, and TF license plates, costumes, signed objects and so forth for 22 items in total. Thanks to Chad for the info. Good luck to the bidders.

Click here for the full list of available items to bid on.

Bumblebee 76 Camaro
Allspark
Glasses and Case

Spider-Man Record Fall To Transformers

Transformers continued to own the box office Sunday raking in an estimated $19.2 million bringing its 6.5 day total to $152.5 million. As CNN noted Transformers is "the biggest first week revenues ever for a non-sequel, surpassing the $151.6 million from Spider-Man." However CNN also noted that the money difference is because of higher ticket prices, not larger crowds as Spider-Man had 26.1 million people vs Transformers 22.5 million. Thanks to that first week, its already entered as 6th place on the total sales for 2007. Currently Spider-Man 3 sits the one spot with total of $334.4M.

Transformers showing for its first weekend was $67.9 million and tops other July 4th movies including Superman Returns and War of the Worlds. The title for overall highest weekend remains with Pirates 2 for highest weekend ever with $135.6M. Transformers sits at 6th place.

In the overseas front, the movie has raked in $93.6 million in 29 overseas markets, representing a whopping 40% of the international business. This would put the worldwide first week gross of the film at $246.1 million placing it in 232nd place for all time worldwide box office grosses.

Suffice it to say Transformers has kicked some butt in the money making department making the studio decision makers very happy. Happy bean counters mean sequels with bigger budgets which means for Transformer screen time. All without many not knowing about them and not having previous sequels to help increase sales. By that I mean that part of the reason for a franchise is the first movie helps to promote the second (via DVDs, TV showings, word of mouth etc) which helps the money made from the second. This in turn means the first two helps the third...and well you get the idea. In theory, you really have to screw up a franchise for a sequel to make less money then its predecessors.

Sadly this streak of records will come to a quick end as Harry Potter 5 is sure to rule the roost when it comes out Wednesday. However, based on the overall high viewer ratings combined with it being well liked across most demographics, this movie will have legs and continue to rake in money for the rest of the summer. While it may not be official, there will be a sequel. Thanks to site readers for the various links and Chad T. for the picture.

Transformers T-Shirts

'84 Optimus Prime from NerdyShirts.comIf feel compared to wear your old style Transformers love loud and proud, here are a couple of places can go to buy some Transformers T-Shirts or info on some shirts. Thanks to site readers that sent in the links.

NerdyShirts.com - offers 4 limited edition re-issue of classic TF t-shirts
Shirtlog - Info on varies style T-Shirts available
ThinkGeek - Animated Transformers faction logos
Asian Cowboy - For those that hated the movie, a T-shirt that says "Michael Bay Must Be Stopped."

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Saturday Box Office: $25.42 Million

Fantasy Moguls is estimating that Transformers took in an additional $25.42 million in ticket sales for Saturday, bringing the total to $132.8 million for its 5.5 day take. They are also estimating that it might take in an additional $20.3 for Sunday so the week total might hit $153.1 million. If that estimate is correct "that would be the all-time 7th-best 7-day gross in modern box office history, and the best-ever for a non-sequel topping 2002’s original Spider-Man, which posted a $151.6M mark." As it stands, Transformers II is a lock, all that's left is an official announcement.
(source)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Friday's Box Office: $22.5 Million

The money keeps coming for Transformers as its made $22.5 million Friday bringing its US gross for the last 4.5 days to $107,403,000 according to Box Office Mojo. I am now thinking the movie will top out around $150 million for the first week now not including foreign grosses. Basically the first week will kind of pay for the cost of the film (not including theatres cut, marketing and so forth).

Fantasymonguls.com reports "an average of eight expert sources predicted a 3-day take of $72.26M for Transformers, but that now appears to be a bit high. My sources are pointing to a traditional weekend of $67.31M, which will put the Hasbro-inspired film at $152.21M domestic by Monday morning." (full article here). Thanks to rodsuper for the link.

Overall the movie isn't breaking the big box office records but for the first film of a franchise its more then holding its own. Like most successes, its the volume of repeat business and word of mouth that will see if this movie continues to rake in the bucks or fizzle out after three weeks.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Optimus Prime Cover Boy for Entertainment Weekly

This week's Entertainment Weekly has Optimus Prime as its cover boy. Thanks to Mitch K. for the cover image. The cover articles is about bringing Transformers to the big screen and how it may change the "future of the blockbuster." Article and an interview with Michael Bay is also up on the EW.com website.

When Robots Attack
Michael Bay Interview

Some highlights and lot of comments from me:
- EW calls it the "world's most expensive toy commercial". I am starting to resent that. Yes its based off of a toyline but I don't hear people calling Spider-Man 3 the "world's most expensive comic book commercial" or Miami vice the "world's most expensive television DVD set commercial" or any of that other nonsense. These writers need to write damn articles and quite pretending to be above it all. The wink wink, eye rolling is getting tiresome. For some reason creating a movie that sells other items is treated with more respect then the reverse.
- to give the writer credit though, he does get the TF terminology correct.
- Alot of the article recounts known history, if keep up with the blog. Ie studios rejected Tom DeSanto's pitch. Speilberg doesn't. Hires Ocri and Kurtzman to write with the "a boy and his car" theme. Snags Bay who first rejected it but after tour of Hasbro and imagining an 80mph transformation, agrees to direct.
- EW says ILM's work was $40 million. (that's it? Next time budget $100 million or more!!!)
- The GM deal saved the movie $3 million. Not mentioned in the article but GM provided 65 cars for the film.
- In regards to Jazz "Jazz is the one thing which I was like, ehhh, I wish he was a different car, personally. It's too little. But that's why I did it. It saved me money." (To be fair though, the car does fit Jazz, so good choice overall but agree about the size)
- Actors worked opposite of a tennis balls for scenes with the TF. Amusing quote from Tyrese, and a good attitude to have: "I would rather do a scene opposite a tennis ball than some of the actors I have had to work with in the past. The tennis ball is your friend. The tennis ball doesn't mean you no harm." (Personally I think actors that bitch about blue screen work are not real actors. Those moments are pure acting as its relying 100% on their own ability and imagination rather then a series of crutches. And don't get me started on those that have to "become" the character. A true actor should be able to dive in and out of character at will).
- Because of Hasbro character choices and design times where tight "''Mike, they need the molds [of the Transformers for the toys].'' [I said] ''We don't have a script yet. We're only on page 30!'' He goes, ''They need the molds in China. What kind of vehicles do you want?'' Literally, we were scrambling." (Apparently to get the toys produced and ready for an expected street date the final designs have to be ready a year in advance. So really to do proper development they probably needed a locked in design by a 3 or so months before then so could engineer the toy).
- Article has the usual actor quotes about Bay being tough.
- Also mentions the
Wrap Poem that popped up on Don Murphy's site that called the film loads of crap and gave that Bay was given to much free rein. (I now suspect the poem came from DeSanto but regardless the box office numbers, the only ones that really matter, vindicate Bay.)
- In regards to a certain sequel and Bay's involvement "I've got a lot of ideas for the next one. I feel like it's my duty to do it. You don't want someone else to take your baby."

PVP Transformers Humor

Click image to make larger.

Transformers Death Star

The Death Star. Transforms into Darth Vader. Not a darn thing to do with the movie. Just thought it was cool. Pics from TFW2005.

Transformers Score 10 Teen Choice Award Noms

The movie isn't out for a week and already its collecting marketing...err mean achievement awards. This time from the Teen Choice Awards which will air on FOX August 26th. Based on some of the below info, I can't tell if its an announcement of who won or a list of nominee's since some categories only have one nominee. I think the movie is highly entertaining but honestly the only awards it probably deserves are in the technical arena such as Best Visual and Special Effects. I see an Oscar at least for that.

The categories TF is up for:

Choice Movie: Action Adventure -- 300, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man 3, Transformers.
Choice Movie Actor: Action Adventure -- Shia LaBeouf - Transformers, Chris Evans - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Tobey Maguire - Spider-Man 3.
Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure -- Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Kirsten Dunst - Spider-Man 3, Lena Headey - 300, Megan Fox - Transformers.
Choice Movie: Villain -- Julian McMahon (Victor Von Doom) - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Megatron - Transformers. Topher Grace (Venom) - Spider-Man 3.
Choice Movie: Hissy Fit -- Jessica Alba - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Choice Movie: Liplock -- Kirsten Dunst & Tobey Maguire - Spider-Man 3, Megan Fox & Shia LaBeouf - Transformers.
Choice Movie: Breakout Female -- Megan Fox - Transformers.
Choice Movie: Rumble -- Spider-Man 3 - Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) & New Goblin (James Franco) vs. Venom (Topher Grace) & Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Transformers - Captain Lennox (Josh Duhamel) vs. "Blackout", Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Johnny Storm (Chris Evans) vs. Victor Von Doom (Julian McMahon), 300 - Spartans vs. The Immortals.
Choice Movie: Breakout Male -- Shia LaBeouf -- A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, Disturbia, Transformers.
Choice Movie: Chemistry -- Shia LaBeouf & "Bumblebee" - Transformers.
Choice Female Hottie -- Megan Fox, Hayden Panettiere, Jessica Alba
(source)

My Name is Megatron!

Looks like someone took the line literally as they official changed their name to Megatron, following in the footsteps of a man who changed his name to Optimus Prime. Below is the seibertron.com article that explains it all. Thanks to Chad for the info.

Yes, I know, lots more interesting Tf news to report about...

But we also need to report on the lighter side and the more human side of the hobby, and remember it can never be taken too seriously, or in some cases it can...

I'm sure everyone remembers Scott Nall, who in 2001, officially had his name changed to 'Optimus Prime' to honor his childhood hero. He is a member of the armed forces who served in Iraq, and is a very devoted Transformers fan. A hero very worthy of the name. (Check out an interview of Mr. Optimus Prime at Botcon here.)

Well, O ptimus Prime now has his rival, Megatron to watch out for. July 2nd, Jason Michael Burrows went in front of a judge at a Seattle courthouse and legally changed his name to reflect his childhood hero, Megatron. Jason is as of Monday, legally named Jason 'Megatron' Burrows. See the article here at gizmodo.com.

So what will we see next from the fan base of this new summer blockbuster? Only time will tell when we see a Mrs. Starscream, and a Mr. Bee... Bumblebee.

TF Thursday B.O.: $19.2 Million

According to Box Office Mojo (grabbed link from comments, thanks!), Transformers made $19,208,000 on Thursday bringing its 3.5 day total to $84.9 million. Its not record breaking but still a lot of money.

6/2: $8,801,025
6/3: $27,851,016
6/4: $29,073,898
6/5: $19,208,000
Tot: $89,933,939

On top of that can add another $36,253,961 from foreign box office totals (as of 7/1). This weekened will probably be the final nail that guarantees a sequel.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 4th B.O. Total: $27.9 million

According to Variety, the money keeps coming for Dreamworks and Paramount for Transformers with a new July 4th record to add to its Tuesday trophy record with a $27.9 million one day haul. This brings its total 2.5 day haul to $65.7 million with the weekend still to go.

The article:
Holiday fireworks for 'Transformers'
Robots seize $27.9 million at box office
By PAMELA MCCLINTOCK

Transformers
DreamWorks and Paramount's "Transformers" made July 4 box office history with an estimated Wednesday take of $27.9 million that easily beat out the previous record of $21.9 million made by "Spider-Man 2" in 2004.

Tentpole's cume, factoring in Monday night and Tuesday, is $65.7 million heading into the holiday weekend.

Never has Independence Day been such a picnic for the film biz, with other pics also benefiting from the unprecedented holiday surge. Traditionally, Independence Day itself sees a dip in ticket sales.

Disney-Pixar's "Ratatouille" made an estimated $10.2 million, compared with $7.9 million on Tuesday, and upping the toon's total take to $72.6 million.

Twentieth Century Fox's "Live Free or Die Hard" made an estimated $6 million, compared with $4.5 million the day before. Total take is now $63.2 million.

Michael Moore's docu "Sicko" made an estimated $1.1 million Wednesday, compared with $750,000 on Tuesday when expanding onto 626 screens. Total take is around $6.9 million.

Warner Bros. laffer "License to Wed" made an estimated $2.9 million on the holiday. Pic bowed at an estimated $2.2 million when opening Tuesday. Cume is $5.1 million.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

TIME.com Transformers Articles

From TIME.com comes 4 articles regarding Transformers and the effect geekdom is having on Hollywood. Below is the descriptions of the articles provided by TIME via an email (re-arranged by me).

Special coverage includes:

Movies: Transformers:
Review of the the highly anticipated movie.

The Fanboy: Hollywood’s New Taste-Maker:
A look at the latest and greatest taste-makers of Hollywood: fanboys, “the typically geeky 16-to-34-year-old male ... Whose slavish devotion to a pop-culture subject, like a comic-book character or a video game, drives him to blog, podcast, chat, share YouTube videos, go to comic-book conventions, and once in a while, see a movie on the subject of his obsession. And he’s having his way with Hollywood.” (geekdom united?, I have the power? Does that mean I get a cut in profits? :P)

An Interview with Shia LeBeouf: The Kid Gets the Picture:
Transformer’s star Shia LaBeouf talks with TIME’s Rebecca Winters Keegan about his rising career, from selling hot dogs in LA’s Echo Park, to working with Steven Spielberg on the set of Transformers and Indiana Jones.

80 Years of Robots in Hollywood:
Essays and accompanying photos profile some of Hollywood’s most memorable metallic stars, from The Day the Earth Stood Still’s misunderstood Gort, to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator.

Tuesday Box Office Total: $27.4 million

First full day for Transformers was gigantic with a total of $27.4 million made in its first full day on 4,011 screens according to Variety. This brings its two day total to $36.2 million. By comparison, Ratatoutille made $7.9 and Die Hard 4 made $4.5 million yesterday. Also of notes is it appears that the viewers are 60% male and 40% female, a discrepancy that I assumed would be much larger.

This is why the US sales is what drives the Hollywood movie machine. Because us Americans drop big bucks in theatres. We nearly spent more on Transformers in one day then all 10 countries that currently have the movie did over the last 4 days combined. Not sure why though. Its been one of those head scratchers for me. My best guess is simply lack of screens, not necessarily lack of interest. In the US a movie can play on 4000 plus screens, while it appears in most countries the average is closer to a couple hundred.

On yesterday's post I said the movie would make $24 million for Tuesday so I was actually pretty darn close. Off by "only" $3.4 million. Industry estimates weekend long take will cross $125 million. I am sticking with the $118 number. So total for the 4th of July is $17 million.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Popular Mechanics ILM Effects for Transformers Article

One thing doing this blog has shown me is how much news comes to you rather then having to hunt for it. Part of it is because of the very helpful readers that provide the tips but also the sites themselves pointing out the new article to me. Its just an observation into how sites like Engadget, Joystiq and the like get it done. I think of myself as a small fish in a big pond but apparently big enough to get noticed. Its pretty cool and its not a complaint because if it didn't happen I wouldn't find out about articles such as the one from Popular Mechanics that gets into how ILM created the Transformers.

I eat this stuff up. I don't want to hear over and over how hard the actors worked, I want to see and hear about how, what, etc on how they put together those amazing sequences involving the Transformers. Its the geek side of movies. The most important part of movies in my opinion. A movie can survive a crappy actor, it can't survive crappy visual and special effects. Its a excellent and long article worth the read for the interested.

Here is the description kindly provided to me:
When the animation put into Jar Jar Binks has audiences yawning, and Jurassic Park's velociraptor chases are old hat, it's hard to believe that any special effects wizardry can cause a stir at the box office anymore – but "Transformers" has done it. Popular Mechanics found out how the effects gurus at Industrial Light and Magic turned over a dozen regular autos into shape-shifting robots for Michael Bay's summer blockbuster. The artists discuss how they juggled the director's demands along with those of car manufacturers and fans, and also dish on the new techniques they used to make the transformation of real-world cars into fighting robots a believable feat.

The article just went live today with exclusive behind-the-scenes
shots from Paramount Pictures. It can be found at:


http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4218826.html?series=6

Transformers Monday Haul: 8.1 Million

The movie hasn't even been out 24 hours and already there is a total sales for Monday - $8.1 million from 3,000 screens from showings starting at 8:00pm. With today being the full official first day of the movie, that total number of screens jumps to 4,011. By comparison, Ratatouille made $7.5 for the entire day of showings. Die Hard 4.0, more a whimper then threat, "only" made $4.5 million.

The potential for moolah can only help GM who is reporting a 21% drop in sales for the month of June. They are probably hoping more then ever that the 65 cars they provided to Transformers for all that screen time will translate to customer dollars later.

According to Variety, since Transformers is getting basically a 7 day opening rather then typical 3-day weekend, it could translate to big sales. Most predict going over the $100 million. Overseas sales have the total so far at $36.2 million on 2,133 venues in 10 "markets" or countries for a per screen average of $16,980. For overseas, thats lots of money in a short period of time. For giggles and based on no facts, I predict Tuesday sales of $24 million and a 7 day total of $118 million.

Transformers Movie Props for Charity Auction

There is an auction going on for Transformers props on eBay. The sales of the items will go to the Fisher House Foundation Inc, which supports injured troops and veterans. The items up for auction include Sam's costume, signed Optimus Prime toy, Pentagon Press Pass, a toy collection and many other items.
Click premiereprops7 for the entire list of items up for auction.
Also TFW2005 has the list of links on the individual items here.

So if your a collector, be sure to bid.

U.K. July10th Transformers Screening

According to a post on TFW2005, Vue Cinemas is doing a pre-screening of Transformers at three locations in the UK - Islington, Southport, and Birmingham. So if your close to there, click here to order em before they sell out.

Some More Reviews

The reviews keep coming. Checking the Transformers Tomatometer, its 61% with 71/117 reviews pro. However, the critics that really matter, the general public, its sitting at 85% with 362/424 pro. By comparison, last years box office winner, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 had a critic score of 54% and site users score of 75% and this years current champ Spider-Man 3 is 61% for critics and 63% for the users. So now some more reviews.

Gamecritics.com - 5/5 "As a Transformers fan myself, I could knit pick at several things, but overall it's hard not to be impressed by the movie that Michael Bay was able to put together."
AICN Harry - "This is a scattershot epic mess filled with dreams of better films. I don't think I'll ever love the movie, but I do love Transformers."
Newsarama - "Transformers simply rocks."
Brillantbrown.com - A humorous review of the movie "Vive La White Girl" and "The black characters lived!"

Killer 3 Contest Winner

Turns out the winner of the Killer 3 contest from Pontiac was someone that learned about the contest from my site. Apparently its getting around some and emailed the Transformers Live Message Boards admin Chad about his experience at the Transformers Premiere on June 27th.

Here is the email with personal information removed just in case:
I just wanted to say I've been checking the blog several times a day for a long time. I have a subscription to Maxim Magazine but I heard about the Killer 3 contest on the blog first. Long story short I entered and won! I saw the premiere on the 27th and It was amazing. I grew up with the Transformers and continue to be a fan today. I might not be as big a fanatic as many but I never stopped following the Transformers. I went to the premiere in L.A. and met Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, and Peter Cullen! I got some great pictures with them and the cars and I still have a Pontiac Solstice comming! I guess after all that I'm biased but I thought the movie was perfect and a great interpretation of the Transformers in relation to the climate that the world is in today. Just wanted to share that with you guys and say thanks for keeping the blog going. Just one last question, does anyone else look at the "Wreckage" figure and think that it was probably intended to be an "earth form" Megatron and it just didn't make it? If you look at the figure and compare it to Megatron in the movie (who I thought was bad ass!) the cannon in the chest is similar and the head on wreckage is pretty megatronish. Well thanks again and keep up the good work. I'll be looking for the blog for the sequel!
Congratulations on the win and for enjoying the blog. As for Megatron, in the leaked script it was never indicated he would get an earth mode. For a while there where rumors, fed by the producers, that he would get a fighter jet mode, but I don't think there where ever plans to create an earth mode for him. As for Wreckage, he was a designed character for the movie that got canned in the pre-production phase. The drone toys exist for Transformers: The Game also exist for the same reason. The design work was already done, might as well use em. Purely practical.

Transformers Related Humor

Here is some humorous stuff stumbled across or provided by site readers to hopefully entertain. The cartoon related videos do have cuss words so not safe for work or kids.

First off, is the humour article about the "7 Most Useless Transformers Ever", the list in decreasing order is Soundwave, Wheelie, Astrotrain, Computron, Nightbeat, Perceptor, and Repugnus (who?).

Second, a humorous video of a McDonald's manager freaking out over someone ordering food with an Optimus Prime helmet on. Sadly can't embed so click here to view.

Next, two video of a remixed episodes of two Transformers cartoons. These are the cuss word loaded ones. The third video is a cute Street Fighter style fight between Megatron and Optimus Prime. Thanks to Radames for the links to the videos. The fourth video, not really humorous but is a Nissan "Transformers" commercial that's more morphing then transforming but still the influence is there. Thanks to Trailer for the link.


 
               
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