Transformers: Dark of the Moon
|Transformers: Dark of the Moon|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Bay|
|Produced by||Don Murphy|
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
|Written by||Ehren Kruger|
|Based on||Transformers by|
|Music by||Steve Jablonsky|
|Editing by||Roger Barton|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Release date(s)||June 23, 2011 (MIFF)|
June 29, 2011(United States)
|Running time||155 minutes|
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (also known as Transformers 3) is a 2011 Americanscience fiction/comedy/action film, part of the Transformers film series, directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is the sequel to Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and was released on June 29, 2011. The film is presented in regular 2D, Real D 3D and IMAX, featuring Dolby Surround 7.1 sound.
Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro reprise their starring roles, withPeter Cullen returning as the voice of Optimus Prime and Hugo Weaving returning as the voice of Megatron. Ehren Kruger, who collaborated in the writing of the last film, was again involved in the writing. Despite having been initially confirmed for the film, and with the film already into principal photography, it was announced that Megan Fox would not be reprising her role from the previous two films. With Fox's character Mikaela being dropped, Sam was assigned a new love interest, portrayed by English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Also, Roberto Orci andAlex Kurtzman, having written the last two films, did not return for this installment in the series, which Orci had earlier somewhat anticipated, fearing the duo would "risk getting stale". Bay has stated this would be his last installment in the series. In May 2011, it was announced that Paramount Pictures had bumped Transformers: Dark of the Moon's release date of July 1, 2011, two days earlier, June 29, in order to receive an early response to footage. The film was then released one day earlier, June 28, in select 3D and IMAXtheatres, nationwide.
In the present day, the Autobots have forged a military alliance with the United States but largely act independently in stopping humans from destroying themselves. During a mission inChernobyl, Optimus Prime discovers a fuel cell from the Ark (which awakened Shockwave) that the Soviet Union attempted to use as a power source, resulting in the Chernobyl disaster. Knowing this, Optimus launches his own mission to retrieve the Pillars and revive Sentinel Prime. Just five Pillars remain on-board the vessel, which the Autobots describe as being the means to establish a mobile space bridge between two points and transport matter through. U.S. National Intelligence Director Charlotte Mearing is horrified at this revelation as the Pillars could be used to bring an invading army to Earth.In 1961, a Cybertronian spacecraft crash lands on the far side of the moon. Known as the Ark, it was the last ship to escape a Cybertron devastated by war. Piloted by Sentinel Prime, it carried "the Pillars", technology that could save the Cybertronians once and for all. On Earth, the crash of the Ark is detected by NASA, and President John F. Kennedy authorizes the mission to put a man on the moon as a cover. In 1969, Apollo 11 lands on the surface of the Moon to investigate the Ark.
Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky is frustrated by his life after graduating from college as he hasn't been able to find a job. He takes his frustrations out on his new girlfriend, Carly Spencer, and her close relationship with her playboy accountant boss, Dylan Gould. Sam is eventually hired in a mail room in a high-pressure working environment. One of his co-workers, Jerry Wang, passes information on to Sam about "the dark side of the moon" before being assassinated by Laserbeak, a condor-like Decepticon. After contacting the retired Seymour Simmons, Sam realizes that the Decepticons are systematically killing people connected to the American and Russian space missions. They locate two Russian cosmonauts who show them photos taken by Soviet satellites that clearly show hundreds of Pillars being stockpiled on the Moon. Sam realizes that the Decepticons raided the Ark decades beforehand and are luring the Autobots into a trap: unable to revive Sentinel Prime on their own, they left him and five Pillars - including the Master Pillar, which controls all of them - for the Autobots to find. Sam contacts the Autobots and reveals that Sentinel Prime is being targeted by the Decepticons, and escort him to their base. However, Sentinel reveals that he made a deal with the Decepticons and betrays both the Autobots and the humans, destroying their base and executing Ironhide before fleeing with the Pillars.
Sentinel uses the Pillars to establish a space bridge with the Moon. Sam is forced by Gould - revealed to be the Decepticons' agent on Earth - into finding out Optimus Prime's plans for retaliation, taking Carly as captive. Sam finds Optimus Prime, who tells him there is no plan for retaliation. The Autobots are exiled from Earth by way of a decommissioned space shuttle spacecraft salvaged from the previous landings. Knowing this, the Decepticons destroy the Autobot rocket and take control of Earth. With Gould's help, they establish themselves in Chicagoand fortify the city. Gould reveals to a kidnapped Carly that the Decepticons intend to rebuild Cybertron, strip-mining the Earth for resources and using humans for slave labor. To do this, the Decepticons have placed Pillars around the world to call Cybertron itself through the space bridge.
Angered at the betrayal, Sam finds USAF Chief Robert Epps and the two re-form Epps' disbanded NEST team to go into Chicago and rescue Carly. They are nearly killed before they have set foot in the city and are saved by Optimus Prime and the Autobots, who evaded the explosion of their shuttle. Sam, the Autobots and NEST advance on Gould's penthouse to rescue Carly and disable the Master Pillar before Cybertron appears in the sky. After battling through the city, NEST takes out the Decepticon leaders (including Shockwave and Starscream) while Carly convinces Megatron that he will answer to Sentinel Prime once Cybertron is restored, instead of leading the Cybertronians himself. Sam reaches the Master Pillar where he confronts Gould, which ends in Sam taking an uprooted pole and knocking Gould into the Pillar where he is electrocuted; Bumblebee then arrives and destroys the Pillar. The connection to Cybertron is broken, and the half-formed planet collapses into itself. With Cybertron seemingly destroyed, Optimus and Sentinel fight in the ruins of Chicago. Optimus loses an arm and is about to be killed by Sentinel before Megatron intervenes, provoked by Carly's words. This gives Optimus the opening he needs to re-enter the fight, ripping Megatron's head and spine from his body before executing Sentinel. Sam and Carly are reunited while the Autobots accept that, with Cybertron gone, Earth is now their home.
- Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky
- Josh Duhamel as U.S. Army Lt. Colonel William Lennox
- John Turturro as Agent Seymour Simmons
- Tyrese Gibson as USAF Chief Robert Epps
- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Carly Spencer
- Patrick Dempsey as Dylan Gould
- Kevin Dunn as Ron Witwicky
- Julie White as Judy Witwicky
- John Malkovich as Bruce Brazos
- Frances McDormand as Charlotte Mearing
- Lester Speight as Hardcore Eddie
- Alan Tudyk as Dutch
- Ken Jeong as Jerry Wang
- Glenn Morshower as General Morshower
- Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime
- Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime
- Hugo Weaving as Megatron
- Tom Kenny as Wheelie
- Reno Wilson as Brains
- Charlie Adler as Starscream
- Jess Harnell as Ironhide
- Robert Foxworth as Ratchet
- Frank Welker as:
- James Remar as Sideswipe
- Francesco Quinn as Dino
- George Coe as Que (credited as "Que/Wheeljack")
- John DiMaggio as Leadfoot
- Ron Bottitta as Roadbuster
- Keith Szarabajka as Laserbeak
- Greg Berg as Igor
As a preemptive measure, Michael Lucchi and Paramount announced a July 1, 2011 release date in IMAX 3-D for another Transformers film before completion of Revenge of the Fallen. Director Michael Bay responded,
I said I was taking off a year from Transformers. Paramount made a mistake in dating Transformers 3—they asked me on the phone—I said yes to July 1—but for 2012—whoops! Not 2011! That would mean I would have to start prep in September. No way. My brain needs a break from fighting robots.
On October 1, 2009, Bay revealed that Transformers: Dark of the Moon had already gone into pre-production, and its planned release was back to its originally intended date of July 1, 2011, rather than 2012. Filming started in May 2010, with shooting locations including Chicago, Florida, and Moscow. Due to the revived interest in 3-D technology brought in by the success of Avatar, talks between Paramount, Industrial Light & Magic and Bay had considered the possibility of the next Transformers film being filmed in 3-D. Testing has been performed in bringing the technology into Bay's work. Michael Bay was reluctant to film with 3-D cameras since in test he'd found them to be too cumbersome for his filming style, but he didn't want to implement the technology in post production either since he was not pleased with the results.
In a hidden extra for the Blu-ray version of Revenge of the Fallen, Bay expressed his intention to make Transformers 3 not necessarily larger than Revenge of the Fallen, but instead go deeper into the mythos, give it more character development, and make it darker and more emotional. Shortly after the release of Revenge of the Fallen, Orci said he would like to introduce Unicron "for scale's sake", and Unicron is briefly shown in a secret Transformers 3 preview feature in the Revenge of the Fallen Blu-ray disc. Ultimately the producers decided to forgo a plot involving the planet eating transformer, and no further comments are ever made on the subject.
Having been called Transformers 3 up to that point, the film's final title was revealed to be Dark of the Moon in October 2010.
As of March 19, 2010, the script was said to be finished, and pre-shoots began on April 7, 2010 in Northwest Indiana, specifically around Gary, which portrayed Ukraine, and Los Angeles.Filming began on May 18. The first six weeks took place in Los Angeles, locations includedSherman Oaks, Fourth Avenue and 5. Main. The next four weeks were spent in Chicago. Locations filmed in Chicago included LaSalle Street, Michigan Avenue, Bacino's of Lincoln Park at 2204 North Lincoln Avenue and around the "Sears Tower". The scenes set in Michigan Ave featured a substantial amount of pyrotechnics and stunt work. Filming in Detroit was planned to take place in August but the Chicago shoot was extended until 1 September. In late September the production moved to Florida, just before the launch of Space Shuttle mission STS-133.
While filming in Washington the crew shot on the National Mall, Michael Bay stated that there would be a car race on the location. Two further locations announced were the Milwaukee Art Museum and an old factory location of Tower Automotive, currently under redevelopment for mixed use as well as the City of Milwaukee equipment yard. Filming was scheduled to take place there after work was done in Chicago. On September 23, filming was done at the former city hall in Detroit, MI. On October 16, work was done at the Johnson Space Center in Texas with intent to shoot a scene set in the late 1960s utilizing extras with period fashion and hairstyles. One day of shooting was also done at the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. Other planned filming locations included Africa, Moscow, and China. About 70 percent of the film was shot in 3-D, using Arri Alexa and Sony F35 cameras, while other footage was shot in the anamorphic format on 35mm film and converted into 3D in post production. 35mm film was used for scenes filmed in slow motion, and scenes which required higher image quality than the HD digital 3D cameras could provide, such as closeups of faces or shots of the sky. 35mm cameras were also used for scenes where the 3D cameras proved to be too heavy, or were subject tostrobing or electrical damage from dust. Filming was officially completed on November 9, 2010. On November 26, it was announced the film had entered post-production.
Initially scheduled to be released on July 1, on May 20, 2011 it was announced that the film would be released on June 29 instead.
Based on the Daily Mail, there is a speculation that moments from The Island may have been recycled for Transformers 3. Brian Howard, from the Daily Mail, says "the scenes...do show a high degree of similarity through several sequences"
Filming was temporarily delayed on September 2, 2010 in Hammond, Indiana, when an extra was seriously injured during a stunt. The accident happened when a steel cable snapped from a car being towed, owing to a failed weld, hitting the extra's car and damaging her skull. The extra, identified as Gabriella Cedillo, had to undergo brain surgery. The injury has left her permanently brain-damaged, paralyzed on her left side and her left eye stitched shut. Paramount admitted responsibility for the accident, and covered all medical costs incurred by Cedillo. Nevertheless, on October 5, Cedillo's family filed a lawsuit, which cites seven counts of negligence against Paramount, D.W. Studios and several other defendants (not including Bay), with total damages sought in excess of $350,000.
On October 11, 2010, while filming a chase scene at 3rd Street and Maryland Avenue, SW, a Washington DC Metropolitan Police K9 Unit SUV struck the Camaro that portrays Bumblebee in the film. The area had been closed off by the DC police, and it is not clear why the SUV was there. Both drivers were uninjured, but the Camaro was severely damaged.
Most of the characters returned for Hasbro's new toyline, which came out on May 16, 2011. In October 2010, Entertainment Tonightpreviewed the behind-the-scenes filming in Chicago. Following that, the official film website was changed with the logo and the release date under it. A two-minute teaser trailer was announced on November 27, and was posted to the web on December 9, 2010. A thirty-second television advertisement for the film aired during Super Bowl XLV on FOX on February 6, 2011. The first full theatrical trailer was released on April 28, 2011. A 3D trailer was expected to be released on May 20, 2011 with the release ofPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D, which would complete the promotional campaign for Dark of the Moon. The very first clip was released on May 18. A second clip was released the next day on May 19.
The album was released on June 14, 2011. Linkin Park's song "Iridescent" is the lead single for the film, continuing the streak of the band's songs as the theme songs of the film series. The single follows "What I've Done" being used in the 2007 film, and "New Divide" for the 2009 film. The music video for "Iridescent" was directed by Joe Hahn. Two other singles were released specifically for the soundtrack, "Monster" by Paramore and "All That You Are" by the Goo Goo Dolls. Several other unreleased songs make their debut on the album, including "The Pessimist" by Stone Sour and "The Bottom" by Staind.
In May 2011, the novelization, junior novel and graphic novel of Transformers: Dark of the Moon were released. Both the novel and the graphic novel featured Skids and Mudflap as supporting characters, but they were missing from the junior novel. The graphic novel made reference to several Autobots from the IDW tie-in comics who died in the stories between Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon.
Activision is set to develop a video game for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS. The trailer for the Dark of the Moon video game was released in February 2011. The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game were developed by High Moon Studios, who had previously developed Transformers: War for Cybertron. Behaviour Interactive developed the Wii, Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS versions of the game. Each and every version of the game officially were released in North America on June 14, 2011.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon premiered at the Moscow International Film Festival on June 23, 2011. Linkin Park performed a special outdoor concert at the Red Square in Moscow on the same night in celebration of the event. The film was released on June 28, 2011 in 3D. Originally set to be released in both conventional and IMAX theaters, it was announced in November 2010 that no IMAX 3D shots were made for the film.
Dark of the Moon received generally mixed to negative reviews from film critics, with many praising the film's visual effects and 3D action sequences, but criticizing the below average acting and script; film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives Dark of the Moon a score of 38 percent based on 202 reviews and a rating average of 4.9/10, saying "Its special effects — and 3D shots — are undeniably impressive, but they aren't enough to fill up its loud, bloated running time, or mask its thin, indifferent script".
Roger Ebert gave the film one out of four stars, calling it "a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog. It provided me with one of the more unpleasant experiences I've had at the movies." Richard Roeper likewise panned the film, giving it a D and saying that "rarely has a movie had less of a soul and less interesting characters."
Several critics were highly critical of the ineffectiveness of the film's two young stars. The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that Shia LaBeouf "plays Witwicky as if he had a ferocious case of attention deficit disorder. After two films, his fidgeting isn't cute anymore." James Berardinelli said that LaBeouf "has sunk to greater levels of incompetence here. It's hard to call his posturing and screaming 'acting.'"Much of the criticism towards Rosie Huntington-Whiteley compared her in an unfavorable light to Megan Fox. Lou Lumenick said that her "'acting' makes...Megan Fox look like Meryl Streep in comparison." Baz Bamigboye gave his review of the film the title 'Come back Megan Fox, all is forgiven...'. Peter Travers stated the two "couldn't be duller."
In a more positive review, Ain't It Cool News called it "the best entry in the Michael Bay-directed franchise." IGN gave the film a 7 out of 10, also stating that it was the best of the franchise. E! Online graded the film a B+ while noting if this is truly the end of a trilogy, its main antagonists should have played more of a part. Website Daily Bhaskar also praised the film, rating it 3 and a half out of five stars, citing it as an improvement to the previous film and how it 'gives fans something to cheer about'. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was an A on an A plus to F scale.
Charlie Jane Anders of io9.com believed that some elements of the film were deliberate self-references to Michael Bay's own sense of under-appreciation after the backlash to Transformers 2. "After a few hours of seeing Shia get dissed, overlooked and mistreated, the message becomes clear: Shia, as always, is a stand-in for Michael Bay. And Bay is showing us just what it felt like to deal with the ocean of Haterade — the snarking, the Razzie Award, the mean reviews — that Revenge of the Fallen unleashed." She went on to say that the film's frequent, often jarring shifts in tone were an intentional endorsement of Michael Bay's own filmmaking style. "Tone is for single-purpose machines. Consistency is for Decepticons. Michael Bay's ideal movie shifts from action movie to teen comedy to political drama with the same well-lubricated ease that his cars become men. By the time you've finished watching, you will speak Michael Bay's cinematic language."
Transformers: Dark of the Moon has earned an estimated $162,125,000 in North America, as of July 3, 2011, and $210,000,000 in other territories, as of July 3, 2011, for a worldwide total of $372,125,000. On its first weekend worldwide it made $372.1 million, marking the third-largest opening of all time behind that of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($394 million) and Spider-Man 3 ($381.6 million). With another breaking record, it made the largest worldwide debut at IMAX venues, with $22.5 million.
- United States and Canada
In the United States and Canada, from its early Tuesday screenings (9:00 p.m. showings), Dark of the Moon brought in $5.5 million. It also earned $8 million in midnight showings, which is lower than what its predecessor made ($16 million). On its opening day (Wednesday),Dark of the Moon grossed $37.3 million (including $8 million from Tuesday-midnight showings), making it the best opening-day gross of 2011 and the sixth best Wednesday opening day of all time. But it's still behind Revenge of the Fallen which grossed $62 million on its opening day. On Thursday it earned $21.5 million, falling only 43 percent which is a better hold than its predecessor's Wednseday-to-Thursday decline and also marking the fifth-largest non-opening Thursday of all time as well as the tenth largest Thursday gross of all time.Transformers: Dark of the Moon was able to rake in $32.9 million on Friday for a total of $97.6 million while 2009's Revenge of the Fallenmade $36.7 million on its first Friday for a total of $127.8 million. Opening at a record 2,789 3D locations, Dark of the Moon's 3D share accounted for 60 percent of its gross, which is atypical due to the downturn in 3D attendance in North America. For its 3-day opening weekend, it grossed $97.4 million; marking the largest opening weekend of 2011; the largest Independence day weekend; out-grossingSpider-Man 2's $88.2 million gross; and the third-largest opening weekend in July. It also scored the fifth-largest opening weekend for a film not opening on Friday and the second-largest 5-day gross for a film opening on Wednesday.
- International Markets
Overseas, the film grossed $32.5 million on its opening day, pacing 38 percent ahead of its predecessor and marking the largest opening day for a 2011 film (out-grossing the $18.5 million record set by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides). Including some early Tuesday previews, it earned $36.6 million in one-and-a-half days. By Thursday, its overseas total reached $66 million, a two-day-opening record for 2011 (ahead of the $44.2 million two-day total of Pirates 4). However, it fell short of the latter by the end of its first weekend, earning an estimated $210 million, which was still the fifth-largest opening weekend of all time overseas and the largest for Paramount. Also, Dark of the Moon's foreign launch was 51 percent ahead of that of Revenge of the Fallen ($139.6 million) and its 3D revenues performed much better in certain markets where 70 percent of the grosses came from 3D which was a higher 3D share than Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides's 66 percent. 
In Russia, it made $4.2 million on its opening day which was the second-largest of all time behind On Stranger Tides ($5 million). In South Korea, it earned $5 million, where it was the largest opening day of all time. On its opening weekend, it grossed a massive $28 million in South Korea marking the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time, a record previously held by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End($16.7 million). While in Russia, Dark of the Moon brought in $22 million. It also made the biggest opening-weekend of all time in six other countries topped by Hong Kong and followed by Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Peru. It also performed well in other regions, including the United Kingdom ($16.5 million), Australia ($16.1 million), Germany ($14.3 million), Mexico ($11 million), France ($10.9 million) and Taiwan ($10.2 million).
During Hasbro Investor Day, it was announced that the DVD and Blu-ray Disc will be released in the fourth quarter of 2011.[64