Hasbro thinks the world needs three more “Transformers” movies

It’s Bumblebee’s time to shine.
It’s Bumblebee’s time to shine.
Image: Paramount Pictures
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If we’ve learned anything from the Transformers movies, it’s that those extraterrestrial robots can really take a beating. Off the screen, the sci-fi film franchise have been savaged by critics, but keeps coming back for more.

Hasbro, America’s second-largest toy maker, announced that there will be three more Transformers movies, released over the next three years. Despite what the critics say, the company, which started selling Transformers toys in the 1980s, is making a lot of money from the movies.

Transformers was rebooted in 2007 (the original film came out in 1986) with lavish special effects and over-the-top action—the four films since then have collectively made more than $3 billion worldwide. The lowest earner, the 2007 edition, made a cool $709 million, while the two most recent movies topped the billion-dollar mark in terms of ticket sales:

That sort of buzz shifts a lot of Autobot and Decepticon action figures for Hasbro, which also owns the rights to sell toys linked to the Star Wars and Jurassic World film franchises. It’s neither here nor there that the most recent film—Transformers: Age of Extinction—garnered a lowly 18% rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes or 32 out of 100 on Metacritic.

The next Transformers movie, slated for release in June next year, will be directed by Michael Bay and will star Mark Wahlberg. After that, the movies will take a page from other action and fantasy franchises, going the prequel route by focusing on the backstory of a specific character in the cast. As Hasbro revealed in a press release:

On June 8, 2018, a new film is being developed which will tell the never before heard story of Bumblebee, one of the most beloved characters from Hasbro’s Transformers universe.

At that point, the poky yellow VW Beetle beloved of kids in the 1980s, reimagined in the Transformers reboot as a turbo-charged Camaro, is sure to keep the cash registers ringing for Hasbro.