Loads of people ask "what was the start of the doom of the Bayverse?" Some say TLK; others say the decision to continue the series after Dark of the Moon. My personal view was that it was ROTF that was the beginning of the end for the Bayverse. The core problem with ROTF is that it crammed too many elements of the Transformers mythos into a single film. You have the Matrix of Leadership, you have combiners, Pretenders, the concept of the Thirteen Primes... when you'd need a whole movie simply to explain what combiners do. Basically, the writers picked out things they liked and tried to cram them into the script, with no thought of what would work best with the story they wanted to tell. ROTF also introduced the toilet humour and the brutality that ultimately tanked the franchise. Part of the reason why I've only watched ROTF once in the past five years (and turned it off about a third of the way in) because of the vulgar humour. With that present, parents are simply going to look for other, more child-friendly options. And, with the rise of the MCU, they got them. I've spent the past six years frequently babysitting (mostly younger relatives, neighbour's kids and kids of my parents' friends), which has made me more attuned to what is and isn't child-appropriate. The only Bayverse movie I've ever shown them was the first one; the violence and dirty humor in the others was just too much. That's alright, there's plenty of alternatives; aside from the obvious Disney/Pixar/DreamWorks/Illumination you watch with kids, we've watched most, if not all, of the MCU and DCEU's film library, as well as Bumblebee, the Jurassic Park franchise, all of the Monsterverse, Star Wars, amongst others. ROTF's negative reception also led to the Bayverse's laissez-faire attitude to continuity; DOTM makes barely any mention of it (and indeed openly contradicts it; how could Megatron have been allied with the Fallen and Sentinel Prime simultaneously?), and its followups continued introducing contradictory details. This meant that the continuity was a massive random mess. I think ROTF will also be remembered, along with all the other 2009 summer stinkers (Terminator: Salvation, G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as the end of the big, bloated summer blockbuster age. Until then, big CGI spectacle was all you needed to get people to shell out to see a movie. And I'll be telling my kids about the end of that age one day. Imagine being twelve and coming out of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra and thinking "That was shit." Not only were the special effects crap and the plot convoluted and derivative, that film sparked a three-year-long hatred of Channing Tatum that only abated when I saw 21 Jump Street. Or Terminator: Salvation and listening to your father having a profanity-filled rant all the way home from the cinema about how bad it was compared to the first two. Seriously, he loathed it; the sad thing is, he took me (and a couple of my friends) because he wanted to introduce me to the Terminator franchise. Didn't work out that way; I didn't see Genisys or Dark Fate because I had a bad time in Terminator Salvation. Or leaving X Men Origins: Wolverine with a few friends and all of us mutually agreeing, before our mums picked us up, that it was utter shite and that it didn't do justice to the Wolverine we all knew and looked up to. Whilst all these films were profitable, they were also widely derided by critics, fans and the public at large. That was when we all realised that Iron Man had been a commercial and critical success the previous year because it had a sensible budget and a focus on story and character. So that's what we started looking for in movies. Audiences are more discerning than studios think; we will not tolerate shite when there is quality on offer. Marvel have known this since 2008; it's the reason why the MCU films are always top quality, with story and character in focus. After Justice League, the DCEU began realising that and, with Bumblebee, Bay, Spielberg and the others involved in the live-action Transformers budget are starting to realise that too.