@Haywired is absolutely right; TLK had shot itself in the foot from the very beginning and was doomed to fail. Firstly, it was up against some pretty stiff competition; ROTF (the second-worst of the bunch) made as much money as it did because, for audiences, there wasn't much to choose from. It was either ROTF, X Men Origins: Wolverine, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra or Terminator: Salvation. For audiences, ROTF was "the best of a bad lot". TLK, on the other hand, was competing against Wonder Woman and Spiderman: Homecoming; both of which are infinitely better. Spiderman: Homecoming is a brilliant film because it has a compelling plot with a lot of heart, great performances from pretty much everyone in the cast and a villain with a sense of nuance and complex motivations that is unseen in pretty much every Transformers movie. Wonder Woman is also a great film, largely due to Gal Gadot's performance and her genuine chemistry with Chris Pine, and a supporting cast full of likeable and genuinely interesting characters. The only problem I had with it was that it didn't embrace the fantastical aspects from the comics; Ares is placed out of focus in favour of Ludendorff and the main threat is not some fantastical weapon or Harryhausen-esque beast, but a slightly more dangerous version of mustard gas. But those were minor flaws That happened with a lot of films that summer... Valerian got its thunder stolen by Spiderman: Homecoming, King Arthur got creamed by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The Mummy tried to take on the aforementioned Wonder Woman and lost. About the only film TLK beat in quality was Pirates of the Caribbean 5, simply by virtue of lacking Johnny Depp's "I'm mad, I am" shtick. The lesson? 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. There were also some monumentally stupid decisions made by Paramount in the process of production. First, they got rid of Ehren Kruger, who was, in hindsight, the person who was responsible for DOTM and AOE a step up in quality compared to ROTF. Although, to be honest, given Kruger is now writing Dumbo, I doubt he cares. Secondly, they tried to start a "cinematic universe" rather than trying to focus their energies on making a quality product. This, as Universal proved, is not a good idea; The Mummy did that and crashed and burned. TLK was also overbudgeted (a production budget of $260 million) and it was a big summer blockbuster; the overall box office returns, just over $600 million, would be considered a hit for most films. Hell, the first Transformers was a box office success at $700 million. However, for big summer blockbusters these days, anything less than $750 million is considered a write-off. And that's what happened with TLK; especially when it was coming hot off the heels of two films that grossed over $1 billion. The reason why MCU films are box office successes is because they have sensible budgets; only four films so far (three Avengers films and Captain America: Civil War) have had budgets of more than $200 million. There's also more of a focus on making a quality product, rather than trying to spend half the budget on making things blow up. The one thing Hollywood needs to learn is that, when it comes to spending, quantity does not necessarily equate quality; look at Jurassic Park. Made on a $63 million budget (which would be small fry today) when CGI was in its infancy, yet it had landmark effects, a brilliant plot and stellar performances. 25 years later, it holds up as one of the best films of all time. For modern examples, look at Cloverfield; it was made for a budget of $25 million dollars. End result: a genuinely gripping, suspenseful film that ranks as one of the best monster films of all time. Another example; Trollhunter. Trollhunter was made for a little over $3.5 million; compared to most Hollywood blockbusters, that's practically loose change. End result: a wonderfully entertaining film, with some of the best special effects I've ever seen.