We're not going to live in a world without Transformers for a very long time.
That's because the studio behind the multibillion-dollar robot franchise, Paramount Pictures, has just set release dates not just for Transformers 5 -- which comes out on June 23, 2017 -- but two more Transformers films arriving on June 8, 2018, and June 28, 2019, respectively.
Wow. Not only is it ambitious to plan three movies like that, but they're each coming a year apart -- previous Transformers entries had come at two- or three-year intervals. And with Michael Bay absolutely, irrevocably, indisputably declaring that Transformers 5 will be the last one he directs, Paramount is going to have to secure a new filmmaker or two in fairly quick fashion.
The other interesting aspect of all this is that Paramount is feeling confident enough in this series and its long-range prospects to schedule two of the next three Transformers flicks in direct competition against movies that in theory appeal to the same audience.
Coming out on the same day as Transformers 5 is Wonder Woman, a crucial and hugely important piece in the DC Extended Universe that is kicking off next month with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The box-office performance of that latter film -- and audience reactions to Wonder Woman's debut in it -- might determine whether Diana (Gal Gadot) stands her ground against the Autobots or flies her invisible plane to a new release date.
The 2018 Transformers movie, meanwhile, is not going to be a direct sequel but will be a spinoff centering around the popular Autobot known as Bumblebee. This one is going head to head with Godzilla 2, so in this case the audience for giant destructive robots and giant destructive lizards is probably exactly the same, even more than that for Transformers 5 and Wonder Woman, which could be a major headache for the King of the Monsters.
As Birth.Movies.Death notes, Godzilla 2 has very little wiggle room when it comes to summer 2018 release dates: If it moves to May, it faces Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 and the Star Wars/Han Solo spinoff. If it moves later in June, there are more dinosaurs waiting in Jurassic World 2. If Godzilla stomps all the way into July, Ant-Man and the Wasp is likely to be a major irritant (Wonder Woman faces similar problems in 2017 but has a little more leeway to move).
No other major film has claimed the same date in 2019 as what we'll call Transformers 6 for now, and none are likely to. With close to $4 billion in the bank from the first four movies, the Transformers franchise is as close to a sure thing as a Hollywood studio could want. And Paramount is clearly betting that we want more too. Are you ready for three new Transformers movies in three years, or could the series run the risk of burnout?