In 2011, Transformers: Dark of the Moon was originally going to be the last movie in the widely popular Transformers film franchise, or at least that incarnation of it. The actors and director had new projects lined up. Then Dark of the Moon made $1.1 billion worldwide as it climbed to be the sixth highest grossing movie of all time. Paramount and Hasbro would be foolish to let that lucrative cash cow get put out to pasture, so they lured Michael Bay back for a fourth installment with Transformers: Age of Extinction, which is due in theaters in June 2014.
While the next Transformers film is likely to be another giant blockbuster for Paramount and Hasbro, plans for a new Transformers trilogy are at a standstill until the box office results for Age of Extinction are all accounted for. In an interview with Rob Moore, the Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures, he says that Transformers 5 and 6 will hinge upon the success of Transformers 4. Moore tells M1905:
Well, each time we’ve waited until the movie has come out to start the next one. Making sure we’ve made a really satisfying movie that was popular and then starting to figure where the next adventure should go. But certainly, our hope is that we can continue to make Transformers movies well into the future. We don’t have the plans yet, but it is certainly my hope that there is a 5 and a 6.
So far, each movie in the film series has made more money than its predecessor. The first Transformers in 2007 took in $709.7 million, while Revenge of the Fallen grossed $836.3 two years later in 2009. If the trend continues, Age of Extinction could make upwards of $1.2 billion worldwide, once you factor in 3D and IMAX surcharges.
Of course, there are a few variables that go along with Age of Extinction that weren’t present for Dark of the Moon, namely upgrading from to Shia LaBeouf to Mark Wahlberg when it comes to the leading man. There’s also the addition of new Autobots and Decepticons to the Transformers film mythology that might bring in a bigger crowd. However, the success of the new film is also predicated on how well it will perform in China and in other international markets.
Paramount has yet to release a plot synopsis for Age of Extinction, but according to director Michael Bay and star Mark Wahlberg, the fourth film will take place in Chicago, some four years after the events of Dark of the Moon. The new Transformers film will also feature new Autobots and Decepticons including the Dinobots and Cyclonus. It’s rumored that the film’s new villain will be Galvatron (the resurrected Megatron) and that the planet-sized Transformer Unicron might factor in as well.
The new film stars Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Stanley Tucci, Sophia Myles, T.J. Miller, Victoria Summer, Kelsey Grammer, and Peter Cullen. Transformers: Age of Extinction hits theaters everywhere on June 27, 2014, in 3D and IMAX.