Has there ever been a more entertaining trio than the “Transformers'” Michael Bay, Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox? Oh, and we’re not taking about their movies, it’s their never ending backstabbing that has become more devilish than a whole season of “Desperate Housewives” (well maybe the first season). The drama all culminated this past week when Bay/Bay’s agent/Paramount Pictures — it’s unclear — tried to spin the press into thinking that Fox was asked not to return as LaBeouf’s love interest in the third installment of the highly-profitable “Transformers” franchise. The truth, however, was that Fox had declined to return, a revelation first confirmed by HitFix. This was a half a year after she’d referred to him as “Hitler” while doing publicity for “Jennifer’s Body” and Bay publicly “welcomed” her back for the third movie. She’d obviously had just about enough of the Third Reich.
As for LaBeouf, he broke the cardinal rule this week of dissing two of his biggest hits, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” after making a nice paycheck off both of them (if the movies bomb it’s another story). Showing either no fear or incredible stupidity, LaBeouf even called out Hollywood’s golden boy, Steven Spielberg, partially blaming him for the poor quality of “Indiana Jones” (not that he was wrong). And LaBeouf was quite aware of what he was getting into telling the LA Times, “I’ll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this.”
First rule of making a movie with Steven Spielberg: you never criticize the master (even Bay and Fox know that). At least LaBeouf was smart enough not to rip David Geffen…but he’s only 23. There’s still time.
As for the rest of this week’s power rankings, a number of new players debut and some old favorites return.
Posted: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
1. “Transformers 3” (not ranked)
What’s more entertaining: the movies themselves or the drama surrounding them?
2. “The Twilight Saga” (last week No. 1)
The supporting cast gets their money for “Breaking Dawn,” but when will Part 2 be formally announced?
3. “Sex and the City 2” (last week No. 10)
It could open anywhere from $50-80 million over the five-day. Place your bets.
4. “Inception” (same)
It seems like every day something else breaks. New posters, the score’s original music, a new TV spot. If only it were opening in June…
5. Cannes Film Festival (last week No. 9)
Javier Bardem and Juliette Binoche are the most recognizable winners of one of the most universally boring fests in years (and we were over it from LA). More important, how do the two Oscar winners feel about getting an award from a jury with Kate Beckinsale on it? Is that not odd?
6. “Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope” (not ranked)
We loved the idea of following seven people from all over the world on their journey to San Diego for Comic-Con until we heard the title. Yeah, that’s gonna sell at Sundance.
7. Miramax (not ranked)
Harvey, Bob and Ron say they are still alive in their bid for the mini-major. No Cannes party though.
8. “Grown Ups” (not ranked)
Get ready. The first “surprise” big hit of the summer is on its way.
9. “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (not ranked)
Brendan Fraser may not return for the sequel even though the original was one of the few hits he’s had over the past five years. That’s our Brendan!
10. “Rise of the Apes” (not ranked)
James Franco beats out his “Spider-Man” co-star Tobey Maguire for the leading role in this Fox prequel. Somebody wants a paycheck.
11. “21 Jump Street” (not ranked)
Johnny Depp your cameo is waiting.
12. “Iron Man 2” (last week No. 7)
Scarily, it might only match its predecessor’s box office globally. Not what Marvel or Disney expected.
13. “Kites” (not ranked)
Indian flick “Kites” hits the top 10 in its opening weekend. No one in Hollywood notices.
14. “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (not ranked)
An international debut of just $18 million in 19 markets is “MacGruber” worthy. Yikes.
15. “Shrek Forever After” (same)
Um, $70 million opening for any other movie would be awesome. For “Shrek”? Not so much.
Dropping like a rock…
* “MacGruber” (not ranked)
Sadly, less than 12 hours after it opened it was already a cult classic.
*”Hitman 2″ (not ranked)
As Seth and Amy would say, “Really Fox? Really? Is anyone dying for a sequel to ‘Hitman’?”
Movie Power Rankings appear every Tuesday on HitFix.
For the latest entertainment commentary and breaking news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory .