'Exit Polling' Data Heats Up Transformers Critic Wars
It should probably be enough for critical pariah Michael Bay that his reviled Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen earned a staggering $201.2 million over its first five days of release. But the man will apparently stop at nothing to validate his taste, even if it means taking down his distributor's other summer blockbuster in the process.
Several pieces today address the specifics of what one journalist refers to as the "critic-audience divide," not-so-scientifically quantified by the relationship of opening-weekend gross to Rotten Tomatoes' review metrics. (Fallen is currently idling around 20% positive.) But Bay himself -- or at least someone in his circle -- latched on to harder numbers provided by the L.A. Times, which cited official studio data in the populist hero's defense:
Paramount's national exit polling revealed several notable facts. While the first Transformers film, released in 2007, skewed 60-40 toward men over women, the split in the new film was more even at 54% male, 46% female. More than 90% of those surveyed said the new movie was as good as or better than the first film. About 67% of moviegoers polled said the film was "excellent," an even better score than that generated by Paramount's Star Trek, one of the year's best-reviewed movies.
Right. Like you have to guess who sent the press such "notable facts" from inside Paramount -- the same studio, of course, which Bay infamously scolded via e-mail for neglecting Fallen while Star Trek took top marketing priority. Naturally the same LAT excerpt wound up posted this morning on Bay's own Web site, its last sentence bolded for emphasis like a middle finger to critics, Paramount and anyone else with the slightest lack of faith in him or his masterpiece.
Did I say this guy's mind never stops working? Maybe it's time to give it a rest.
· TF2 exit polls [MichaelBay.com]
· Does Transformers 2 set a new low for the critic-audience divide? [Risky Biz Blog]