‘Transformers 4’ Is a Hit -- We Reveal the 2 Biggest Winners

Hint: neither Hasbro nor Viacom make the list.

Jul 13, 2014 at 8:10AM

Optimus Prime Transformers Age Of Extinction

Optimus Prime is taming dinobots and the box office in Transformers 4. Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Transformers 4 -- otherwise known as Transformers: Age of Extinction -- has not only secured 2014's biggest opening weekend at the U.S. box office, but it's also a huge winner in China. The latest installment in Viacom's (NASDAQ:VIAB) signature franchise recently surpassed Avatar as the biggest-ever box office draw in the Middle Kingdom. Who stands to benefit from this Decepticon-smashing performance?

Guest host Alison Southwick put this question to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this  episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite technology, movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Nathan says that, while you would expect Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS) to be rolling in dough, history shows that's not the case. Licensing of Hasbro brands such as "Transformers" and "My Little Pony" accounted for just 4.67% and 9.73% of revenue and profit, respectively, in 2013. Those totals are up incrementally (i.e., 2.27% and 7.52%) from 2007, when the first Transformers movie found its way to theaters.

Tim adds that Hasbro last year agreed to over $300 million in guaranteed royalty payments to Walt Disney for the right to make and sell toys based on Marvel and Star Wars characters. Both lines appear to dwarf the 30-year-old Transformers line. What's more, a recent study of Viacom's SEC filings found that Marvel movies were a huge contributor to Viacom's filmed entertainment business in years past. They aren't anymore, placing a bigger burden on the Transformers movie franchise.

So who are Transformers 4's biggest winners if not Hasbro and Viacom? Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then leave a comment below tell us what you thought of the movie. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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Neither Alison Southwick nor Nathan Alderman owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Tim Beyers owned shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Hasbro and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Hasbro and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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