2011 Summer Movie Attendance Was the Lowest Since 1997

With Labor Day behind us and school back in session, summer in the US is officially over, at least from a cultural perspective. So it’s time to tally the box-office receipts from what has been the biggest movie season over the past thirty years.

The good news? Revenue is up from last year. The bad news: revenue is up by less than one percent. More troubling: after taking into account that a good portion of the overall revenue came from inflated 3D prices, analysts reveal that attendance was actually down this year. about 543 million tickets were sold this summer, which is the lowest number since 1997′s famous summer of 540 million tickets. (OK, perhaps not so famous.) But wait, there’s more! 2011 is the fourth consecutive year f dwindling summer movie attendance. Read More »

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Love it or hate it, Transformers: Dark of the Moon was a colossal hit. Michael Bay‘s third film featuring the Hasbro toys has grossed about $350 million in America and $750 million internationally for a gross of well over one billion dollars. That number will only continue to grow as the film is now back on IMAX screens. Then, of course, more cash will roll in when the Blu-ray is released later this year allowing fans to delve into the behind the scenes magic that created such a visceral 3D experience. Until then, though, Michael Bay’s official site has updated with 174 images taken by talented set photographer Robert Zuckerman that offer a gorgeous view of the production. This should keep fans busy until they can rip through the Blu-ray features. Read More »

Cast your memory back to January 2010 and you might recall that we featured a short video piece that looked into the sound design of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The clip wasn’t all great, but there were a couple of moments in there that showed how a flash of creative inspiration made parts of the second Transformers film unique from a sound perspective.

Now, a year and a half later, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is in theaters and we have a similar clip looking into the sound design of the current sequel. As with the last clip, there’s a little too much “wow, working with Michael Bay is great!” But when things settle down into showing just how some of the movie’s sounds were created, once again there are a couple great little examples of how the mundane becomes something larger than life. Read More »

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This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam discuss Michael Bay’s latest masterwork, Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Special guest Tasha Robinson joins us from AV Club.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. We’ll be back on Sunday 10 PM EST at slashfilm’s live page to discuss Horrible Bosses.

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It’s been a couple of years since Michael Bay unleashed his last filmic atrocity upon us in the form of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. An overlong, numbing, and mildly racist abomination, Revenge of the Fallen nonetheless went on to make one quadrillion dollars at the worldwide box office during its theatrical release.

I was pretty certain that we’d never ever get a good film out of Bay again, and certainly not very hopeful for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which hits theaters this week. After all, when audiences not only accept your complete creative failure, but financially reward it generously, it probably doesn’t inspire much desire to change your style. Amazingly, Bay actually ended up acknowledging some of that film’s shortcomings, and early buzz from the film was fairly positive.

So, is Transformers: Dark of the Moon Michael Bay’s redemption? Or is it the nail in his creative coffin? Leave your thoughts on the film and assume SPOILERS lie after the break in the comments.
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Say what you will about Michael Bay, but he is a filmmaker who knows how to maximize the bang for the buck. He is often critisized for using too much product placement, which gives him millions of dollars more to play with than he would have otherwise had access to. In a film like The Island it is annoying and distracting, and in a film like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, its much less noticable (although David Chen was bothered more by the Cisco product placement).

Filmmakers often use stock footage to save money from traveling to capture an exterior of a city, house or location. Its a very common occurance which you likely never notice. Bay has used stock footage in most of films, sometimes borrowing shots from his earlier movies (here is an example from Transformers, a shot of an aircraft carrier that was borrowed from Pearl Harbor). My friend Alex from FirstShowing just pointed me to a clip on YouTube which shows that Bay recycled shots from an action sequence from The Island in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I’m not sure how often this kind of thing happens, but my guess is that it happens probably more than you would think. Watch the clip after the jump.

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Film critics have been overwhelmingly negative towards Michael Bay‘s latest film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, yet average moviegoers seem to love the film. Transformers 3 earned a rotten 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 186 critic reviews counted, yet 90% of the 60,137 Flixter users liked the threequel.

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Alright, so Transformers: Dark of the Moon was not as bad as Revenge of the Fallen. But man, it did not fall under any definition of “good” that I use, as I was led to believe it might. I enjoyed many aspects of Dark of the Moon: some of the action set pieces were spectacular, the special effects were awe-inspiring, and it has the best use of live action 3D that I’ve seen since Avatar. Also, there is a lot of base jumping in this film, and it is exhilarating.

All that being said, this is a situation where the negatives outweigh the positives. Assume SPOILERS for the film follow beyond this point.

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