In a surprising move, Michael Bay will be premiering his newest installment of the mega-grossing “Transformers” series in Moscow on Thursday, June 30th.
“Transformers 3: Dark Side of the Moon” will supposedly be the final installment in the trilogy, which set industry records for its previous openings and overall international ticket sales. Although the second movie was a disappointment to critics and ardent Transformers fans, the third is hoped to be Bay’s vindication for that previous failure. “The third movie is the best one. It’s the strongest script we’ve ever had, it’s the best character development, it’s paced well, it’s shot incredibly,” exclaimed Shia LaBoeuf, the human star of all three movies, in an interview with Reuters. “Technologically, it’s the most advanced, just the best special effects we’ve ever devised!”
Having the world premiere of such a hugely-anticipated big-budget movie is an unusual tactic, but Bay credits his Russian roots for deciding to bring the film to Moscow first. “I’m really proud we are doing a premiere here: I think it’s a wonderful world stage,” Bay is quoted as saying to a crowd of Moscow producers and directors during a press conference on the premiere. “I grew up during the Cold War. My grandfather, who is from Russia, said I would never make it into the film business… That’s partly why I’m here.” He goes on to mention that Brazil and China will be “Dark Side of the Moon’s” next stops.
Although there is some sentimental reasoning behind debuting the movie in Russia, it is also a savvy move on the director’s part. Emerging movie markets in Asia, Africa and South America are generating increasingly large volumes of ticket sales, merchandising and video sales, and the dropping value of the dollar and decreasing numbers of theater-goers in the US means that studios must broaden their reach for new consumers.
Russian theaters earned a billion dollars in 2010 in foreign movie blockbusters alone, which is one and a half times more than was earned by national pictures, says Movie Research, an independent movie industry tracking organization. Russia also has a movie-going audience of more than 120 million people.