October 22, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

“Transformers: Dark of the Moon” soars past $1 billion mark

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Michael Bay’s third Transformers film, “Dark of the Moon,” has crossed the $1 billion mark at the international box office, making it the highest-grossing film in Paramount history.

“We are grateful for the extraordinary work of Michael Bay and his film-making team, executive producer Steven Spielberg, and everyone at Paramount around the globe who played a part in helping make this latest Transformers one of the 10 highest grossing films worldwide of all time,” Paramount chairman-CEO Brad Gray said.

Oddly enough, “Transformers” becomes the third film this summer to reach the billion-dollar mark after “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and the final “Harry Potter” film. That’s why sequel talk already has swirled around Disney’s “Pirates” franchise, with Johnny Depp contemplating another go-round in Capt. Jack Sparrow’s boots. (“Potter,” of course, is finished, so Warner has to put that cash cow out to pasture.)

“Transformers,” on the other hand, has not had much sequel talk just yet … quite the opposite. While promoting “Dark of the Moon,” Shia LaBeouf told anyone who would listen that he was finished with the franchise, while Bay has stayed mum.

Could these numbers help Paramount to convince Bay to return? Producer Don Murphy has gone on record saying another “Transformers” trilogy is possible (even likely). Will another director be at the helm, a la James Cameron walking away from the “Terminator” franchise? Or could Bay hop back in the saddle with new actors in his leads? So long as there’s giant robots, audiences will turn out. Right?

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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