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Cash cows in disguise: why they keep making critical flops

have had mixed-to-negative reviews over the years, ranging from decent, to mediocre, to just plain awful. In fact, the average rating of the four recent films is 32.25 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet, despite how many of these films have been critical flops, Hasbro has announced four new films to be released over the next few years.

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By Drew Bergen (Contributor) – Email

have had mixed-to-negative reviews over the years, ranging from decent, to mediocre, to just plain awful. In fact, the average rating of the four recent films is 32.25 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet, despite how many of these films have been critical flops, Hasbro has announced four new films to be released over the next few years. How can a company want to keep making critical flops?

Money.

Transformers: Age of Extinction alone grossed over $300 million on its first weekend. However, our money isn’t going towards something new or innovative, it’s going towards a recreation of a series of television shows and action figures that date back to the 1980s. You can ask anyone and discover that many have heard of Transformers, or were even fans themselves. The series spans multiple generations and taps into that legendary goldmine which many popular franchises strive to break into: nostalgia.

I can think of many franchises these days that people will readily throw their money at because they were significant parts of their childhood. They made a Peabody and Sherman movie not too long ago; there’s a new Peanuts film coming out; and Mad Max just received a new reboot.

Marvel especially has been tapping into big franchises that were both well-known and very popular, yet which are also quite old. The list goes on, full of reboots and re-imaginings. And these familiar and very popular franchises continue to rake in the big bucks for Hollywood.

Yet films that appeal to our nostalgia are not bad things; problems arise when films are being made with their primary purpose being getting into our wallets and not our hearts. Transformers as a film franchise has been made into a nostalgic cash-cow which Hasbro can continue milking. For many fans of Transformers as a series, this is a bad thing, because Hasbro has been catering to the lowest common denominator of Transformers’ audiences with flashy special effects and fast-paced action sequences, diverting attention away from lazy writing.

We love sucking back those sweet, sweet nostalgic nectars. Whether we are simply pleased to see our favourite heroes recreated in the highest of definitions with the most expensive of CGI budgets, or if all we want is to see eye-pleasing effects and be entertained for an hour or two, we continue to see these films, and thus they continue to make these films. Companies that make movies for monetary motivation over artistic motivation will always exist. If you quite enjoy these new films, then keep watching them, and I hope you have a good time. But, if you’re one who wishes to see these practices changed, there really isn’t much you can do other than continue to support the movies you do like, and hope for more to be released in the future.

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