Mike Fleming

Explosive Weekend For Michael BayEven by Michael Bay standards, the filmmaker finishes a pyrotechnic weekend that is a career high watermark for movies and TV. His Transformers: Age Of Extinction might cross $100 million domestic on its opening weekend (a shade less than the $108 million done by Transformers 3), and passed $200 million international (biggest offshore opener this year) to generate $300 million in total ticket sales. Those who stayed home had to deal with Bay’s TNT drama The Last Ship, which aired tonight with hopes to build on a June 22 premiere of the post apocalyptic drama that totaled 5.3 million total viewers. Its 1.2 rating among the 18-49 demo in that debut episode made it the second highest-rated drama debut in the past few weeks and the best cable result so far this summer. There are already expectations that Bay will do his fifth Transformers installment (he, Peter Jackson and James Cameron seem comfortable working in their respective billion dollar franchise sandboxes over and over), but I hear Bay might want to take a break and direct a smaller movie next, as he did with Pain & Gain. There is always the prospect of Bad Boys 3 kicking around. Bay overhauled the Transformers storyline with his Pain & Gain star Mark Wahlberg. Has Bay positioned himself and Wahlberg to drive the next few installments of the saga?