Sunday, January 06, 2019

Bumblebee Producer Talks Franchise Future and Mid-Credits Scene

In two interviews long time Transformers producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura talked about the potential future of the franchise and also the mid-credits scene of the film.

The producer spoke with China.org about the franchise's future where the movie premiered this weekend saying "We probably will make a 'Bumblebee' sequel, and we want to make another even bigger Transformers movie in the future. We have an animated movie in the writing stage right now. We are trying to figure out an Optimus Prime movie, while the Beast Wars franchise has the chance, too."

Of course most of these plans assume that Bumblebee is a financial success. Unfortunately the film is doing just ok in the United States. It will likely crack $100M but just barely. Which is not good considering the film's $135M budget. However, the good news is the movie just opened in China where the previous movies have done very well. For all intents, so goes China, so goes those other movies.

What is success for Bumblebee? There are a lot of factors involved, most of which we as an audience have little information on. So we have to go by what we do know which is the box office sales. The general formula for a film to make a profit is its production budget x 2 to account for marketing, the split of box office ticket sells and other factors. So in this case the break even point is $270M. The film is currently sitting at a $196.5M worldwide total. Its safe to assume that break even will either be hit by end of this weekend or next thanks to China. Anything over that amount increases the likelihood of sequels. I think $500M is the point that would guarantee a Bumblebee sequel and probably a green light on the animation movie. I also believe a Transformers 7 will happen no matter what, but based on current Bumblebee totals, that film will have to make do with a similar $135M budget. I don't see Paramount and/or Hasbro footing the bill for an uncertain $200M plus movie based on Bumblebee's current level of sells. Let's see how those box office totals look by the end of January.

Now for the SPOILER WARNING. The next bit of information regards the mid-credits scene that shows Optimus Prime and Bumblebee having a discussion on Earth. Which directly contradicts the first movie which suggested that was Prime's first visit to the planet. Its seems the justification is classic comic book retcon and does make perfect sense.
“Someone described Bumblebee to me as, ‘99% prequel, 1% not’,” Di Bonaventura tells Metro. “I was like, ‘What was the 1%?’ He said, ‘It is the scene where Optimus and all the other guys come to Earth at the end.’”

“I was like, ‘That doesn’t contradict anything we have said before. Who is to say they haven’t been around Robots In Disguise since then.’”

“That scene was always imagined but in many different versions. We didn’t do that scene until we’d shot the movie. Because we felt the movie was going to dictate that scene a little bit. What happened is that you got to see Haliee return to her family. Bumblebee needs to return to his family. Otherwise what happened to poor Bumblebee? That was our thinking.”

“Plus Optimus said we are going to go to Earth. We are gonna regroup. And then we are gonna go back. In our minds they went back out. It had nothing to do with the other films, and was completely about the emotional journey of Bumblebee.”

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