As popular as they proved to be up to a point, it’s impossible to argue that Michael Bay’s time at the helm of the Transformers franchise peaked with the very first installment. From there, reviews got progressively worse with each subsequent installment, until the final nail was thankfully hammered into the coffin when The Last Knight cratered at the box office.
Bay claimed that threequel Dark of the Moon would be his last contribution to the mythology, but a $1.1 billion haul saw him return for Age of Extinction, which again smashed through the ten-figure barrier. His luck definitely ran out at the fifth time of asking, though, with The Last Knight‘s 11 percent Rotten Tomatoes score and $605 million gross making it the worst-reviewed and lowest-earning of the quintet by far.
Of course, no marketable property is ever truly dead and buried, so The Last Knight didn’t even come close to marking the end of the line. We’ll let Bumblebee off because it’s the best Transformers flick by a country mile, but Steven Caple Jr.’s impending sequel/reboot hybrid Rise of the Beasts is already being planned as the first entry in an all-new trilogy. Oh goody.
As unspeakably awful as The Last Knight proved to be, the brand itself has proven to be a consistent draw among streaming subscribers, with the woeful tale of Mark Wahlberg saving the universe once more currently ranking as one of the top-viewed titles on the Netflix global charts, per FlixPatrol. Anthony Hopkins is having a blast, and it’s official canon that a Transformer killed Hitler, but those are about the only outlandish positives to be found.