Page last updated at 09:15 GMT, Monday, 22 June 2009 10:15 UK

Bay slams Transformers promotion

Micheal Bay
Michael Bay directed both Transformers films

Director Michael Bay has criticised the marketing efforts of the studio behind the Transformers sequel, reports say.

In a memo sent to Paramount Pictures last month and leaked to gossip site TMZ, the director called the film's US print campaign an "abject failure".

"You talk so glowingly about Transformers being the movie of the summer, but unfortunately this has not got to the public," he wrote.

Revenge of the Fallen is out in the UK and is released in the US on 24 June.

"I have been waiting and waiting for the anticipation of an 'event movie' to make it into the 'public zeitgeist'," Bay wrote in the e-mail to Paramount executives on 4 May.

'Really weak'

'Right now, we are not an event, we are just a sequel, which is very different. There is no anticipation. Remember back to Spider-Man 2 - it was everywhere."

He added that summer previews in publications like Entertainment Weekly were "really weak" and the film had a "pathetic presence" in the Los Angeles Times.

Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf
Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf reprise their roles in Revenge of the Fallen

Bay also complained that, for the first Transformers film in 2007, there was a 30-minute segment at the MTV Movie Awards, but this year the sequel's presence was only in the form of lead actors Shia LeBeouf and Megan Fox presenting an award.

But in a second e-mail sent to Paramount on 6 June and also leaked to TMZ, Bay compared Paramount to a family and thanked executives for "busting your butts and bringing your 'A Game' for the release of Transformers."

'More lifelike'

A Paramount spokeswoman declined to comment other than to point out that the latter e-mail "clearly speaks to a differing stance than the former."

Transformers earned $708m (£431m) worldwide when it was released in 2007.

Reviews for Revenge of the Fallen have been mixed, with Hollywood Reporter saying: "For the uninitiated it's loud, tedious and, at 147 minutes, way too long."

Trade magazine Variety said: "With machines that are impressively more lifelike, and characters that are more and more like machines, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen takes the franchise to a vastly superior level of artificial intelligence."

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