How much did each Bayverse film actually cost?

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by JohnStartop, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. JohnStartop

    JohnStartop There can only be one.

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    I know that certain subsidies they get for the product placements, military propaganda, tourism, and, somehow, Chinese pro-communism, helped reduce their budgets, but we all know the reported figures are grossly deflated to avoid appearing desperate. They want audiences to think that each film is a smash hit. AOE was a huge drop domestically, and they don't actually get to keep all the money they make at the foreign box office. Their poor management is why TLK cost more in both production and marketing, hoping that scaling it up instead of down would recover it. I don't care if you like the films or not. I'm just being realistic. I'm asking how much dollar-value is the actual production itself, subsidies included.

    For reference, the announced figures without subsidies are:
    -Transformers: $150 mil -- ILM would provide effects for Iron Man the next year, which cost $140 mil. Even if you think they spent much of that on Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, and Jeff Bridges (RDJ wasn't as valuable back then), or if you think the movie is really good, at least consider how much more expensive the CGI must have been for Transformers and then consider whether $10 mil in difference seems realistic.
    -ROTF: $200 mil -- Even with the insane clusterf* of CGI, including Devastator sucking up a sandstorm and then proceeding to eat the Great Pyramid of Giza.
    -DOTM: $195 mil -- Somehow costs less. Even if technology advances and things get cheaper, if you remember the sheer scale of film, does that really make sense to you? Driller eats a building, then it falls over and shatters. BTS said they used the most advanced program for their animation and it crashed running an incomplete version of the Driller sequence, so they had to commission the software developers to write them an upgrade.
    -AOE: $210 mil -- There's nothing as complex as Driller in here, but it's still pretty impressive for $210 mil.
    -TLK: $217–260 mil -- 12 combiners turn into a dragon, 12 others into a demon, another planet dragging against earth, lifting cities and fields of grass, tracking shots of jets flying in and out of giant metal vines, zero gravity fight sequences, Hot Rod freezing people midair, etc. Not only are the effects themselves incredibly expensive, but they also demonstrate wanton mismanagement of finances. They even commissioned Megatron's squad of biker gang Decepticons through countless phases of design only to be killed within five minutes of screentime. There's so many abandoned ideas, concepts, and writings too. Just do a quick Google and you'll see.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019 at 4:17 AM
  2. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    Well regardless of what the actual costs were, if most of them weren't smash hits there wouldn't have been five of them. I have no reason to think their costs are any less "deflated" than the costs of any other big budget Hollywood films. All of these big budget franchises cost tons of money. Some franchises, like Avengers and The Hobbit, cost more per film than the Transformers films.

    There's also some conflicting details about the last couple of Transformers films. The Last Knight has been reported at both $217 million and $260 million. I have seen numbers as low as $70 million for Bumblebee after tax credits, as well as a cost of $100 million, but Box Office Mojo has Bumblebee's cost at $135 million. These different estimates may be to changing costs through the course of production and post-production, and there are also probably differences as a result of tax credits being applied or not.
     
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  3. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    As @Galvatross has stated, there wouldn't have been five films if at least some of them hadn't been box office successes. There's no reason to think their costs are any less "deflated" than the costs of any other big budget Hollywood films; the announced budgets sound just about right for a summer blockbuster.

    What evidence do you have that the "reported figures are grossly deflated"? You've said this as if it's a well-known fact multiple times, without providing any indication that this is the case.
     
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  4. JohnStartop

    JohnStartop There can only be one.

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    Um, they report ballpark budgets beforehand, then they get drastically deflated during the "official" reports. This happens with every blockbuster. And it's a known fact that Bayverse is heavily subsidized.
     
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  5. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    I find it strange to single out the Bay movies for the italicized when you also wrote the bold. There's no reason to think other major motion pictures get subsidized less than the Transformers movies.

    Also, Bay himself is aware that Transformers films require large budgets. He himself noted the Transformers movies cost lots of money to make during a TLK interview. He's also considerate of budgets, as he also reportedly refused to do a Lobo movie if the budget was as high as $200 million.
     
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  6. JohnStartop

    JohnStartop There can only be one.

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    Yeah, okay. But still, what dollar value ends up on screen? The special effects shots specifically look very valuable. And I single out Transformers because it's a Transformers page.
     
  7. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    The thing is, we can only go based on publicly available information for any movie, and that includes Transformers. For the 2007 film, that figure is $150 million. For, RotF, that's $200 million. For DotM, that's $195 million. For AoE, that's $210 million. TLK and Bumblebee both have variable numbers, although going by Boxofficemojo they are $217 million and $135 million, respectively. Anything beyond that none of us here can say with any definitiveness, unless someone here is secretly production staff.

    Furthermore, as I said earlier, if the Bay films were mostly unprofitable, there would not have been five of them in total. Four of them at the very least were hugely profitable. Even most movies that don't do well in theaters usually end up making their money with television deals and home media sales.
     
  8. JohnStartop

    JohnStartop There can only be one.

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    Of course, they're huge blockbusters. It's just, the overall decline must have had some behind the scenes aspects too, aside from just marketing costs.
     
  9. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    The thing is, the only time the films were ever in serious decline was The Last Knight. All of the other Bay films either outdid, or approximately did the same as, their predecessors box office-wise. Transformers made over $700 million in revenue, RotF $900 million, and DotM and AoE both made slightly over $1.1 billion. I'm sorry, but there's no way to categorize any of the first four films as anything but financial successes. Anyone claiming two $1.1 billion dollar box office films in a row is not a huge financial success is fooling themselves.

    The Last Knight is literally the exception. And like I said earlier, I don't know whether the $217 or $260 million production cost is correct; Boxofficemojo has the former, but it may have been the latter for all I know. But the TLK bashing has been done to death. It's boring, just like bashing the Bay movies in general is boring. I had my issues with The Last Knight (Continuity with its predecessor, the main villain's not as compelling or well executed as Lockdown and Sentinel and some other Bayverse Decepticons, editing, etc.), but I also think it had some positive aspects that are ignored or minimized or go over the heads of many fans, just like the movies before it.

    That said, I think it was a mistake to get rid of Kruger for Transformers. I think his two solo-written films had plots that were much better than given credit and quite solid by Transformers standards. I think his hypothetical Transformers 5 story would at least have given more importance to the Creators and Galvatron as antagonists rather than muddying the former and ignoring the latter. I think he and Bay understood the brand better than most of the fans.
     
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  10. JohnStartop

    JohnStartop There can only be one.

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    I would say that treating it like a brand was what lead to failure.
     
  11. Shockwavers

    Shockwavers Well-Known Member

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  12. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    The thing is, I think most any realistic choice for director, producers, production company, as well as Hasbro itself would treat Transformers as a brand. I don't see Hasbro and Paramount giving the movies over to people who view it as their personal art film project. Ironically, what's one of the issues many fans have with the Bay films? That they were made to fit Bay's image too much and didn't fit their nostalgic view of things. Even though all five Bay films are heavily inspired by plenty of things from the original cartoon and comics, even if the designs are for the most part completely different. So there was never going to be, and probably never will be, an imaginary production crew who doesn't treat the Transformers films as a part of the Transformers brand.
     
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  13. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Ding dong THE BAYVERSE IS DEAD!

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    The domestic Box Office would like a word with you. Sure, AoE made a billion dollars, but the domestic was horrible and was only made up by the absolute marketing blitz and contracts to appeal to the Chinese market.

    TLK was proof that Paramount saw absolutely nothing wrong with the falling domestic box office so long as China was there to save profits, except for this attempt they didn't do any of the massive support campaigning and agreement making that kept AoE above the Billion dollar mark. The end result was predictable as the sun coming up in the morning. Without China's massive support, it fell back the domestic, which surprise surprise utterly and completely failed to support the film just like the previous one would have without China.
     
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  14. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    $245 million dollars domestic, while less than the first three films, is not horrible by any stretch. Quit twisting things to sell your knee-jerk, hyperbolic narrative.
     
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  15. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    The actual numbers of what the movies cost are some of the most closely guarded secrets out there. Studios don't want people to know the actual cost because sometimes they have to spin it as hey we didn't spend that much to make their films look even more profitable and other times they need to make it look like an arm and a leg for tax purposes.

    So for cost to the studio you not only have the making of the film but you also have the advertising which can run an insane amount for tent pole event films. You also have a lot of other cost like printing the film, insurance and other bills that never get factored into the production cost.

    For the studio making money you get the cut from the theaters where you get your biggest cut domestically and then it varies wildly from nation to nation on how much they get. But then you also have the home release where a film can continue to make money for years. For some films it's that home release when the studio really starts to rake in a profit over the long haul. So it's almost impossible to say how much money any film will make over a lifetime.

    Something people often don't consider but studios do is if they think the next film in the series will be profitable. The box office numbers on Pacific Rim really were not good at all but a sequel got green lit because the studio thought a sequel could be a big international hit.

    Although if we want to talk profits we should be talking horror movies. They cost very little to make but when one takes off they make a massive profit for the studio. To stick with Paramount take their horror film A Quiet Place. A production budget of $17 million but a domestic run of $188 million with an international run of $153 million.
     
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  16. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    You got that right, mate. Getting rid of Kruger was the beginning of the end for TLK.
     
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  17. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Ding dong THE BAYVERSE IS DEAD!

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    I guess you're not familiar with the term 'quit while you're ahead' then. Because as TLK proved, Paramount damn well should have done so. Any argument about some stupid 'need' to continue the plot is entirely arbitrary because if Paramount said that AoE was the last film, citing declining profit numbers, then you would just have to have accepted that.
     
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  18. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    Again, $245 million is a respectable domestic gross and, back in 2014, a worldwide gross of $1.1 billion was almost unheard of.

    TLK failed because of some monumentally stupid decisions Paramount made in production; most notably, getting rid of Ehren Kruger.
     
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  19. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    How could us random forum users know the actual budget if it's all covered up by the studios according to OP?
     
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  20. Nathanoraptor

    Nathanoraptor Well-Known Member

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    Exactly; until he can provide proof, it's all a conspiracy theory. I'm not going to call him a liar, but until he delivers the goods, I'm inclined to dismiss the claims.
     
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