Transformers: Dark of the Moon (or simply Transformers 3) is a 2011 American science fiction action film based on the Transformers toy line. First released on June 23, 2011, it is the third installment of the live-action Transformers film series. It is a sequel to 2009's Revenge of the Fallen taking place three years after that. The film is also the first in the franchise without the involvement of DreamWorks, leaving the series to be produced solely by Paramount Pictures. Like its predecessors, Transformers and Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon is directed by Michael Bay and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. This was the last film in the series to be owned by Takara Tomy, as Hasbro assumed ownership of the Transformers films in Japan. This was also the last film in the series to involve the original human characters and last in the series to star Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, Jess Harnell, Hugo Weaving and Charlie Adler for the first three films. The film's story is set three years after the events of the 2009 film, with the Autobots, during their collaboration with the NEST (Nonbiological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty) military force, discovering a hidden alien technology in possession of humans, which had been found by Apollo 11 on the Moon 42 years earlier. However, the Decepticons unveil a plan to use the technology to enslave humanity in order to restore Cybertron, the home planet of the Transformers. Returning Transformers includes Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Wheelie, Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave and Barricade. LaBeouf, Duhamel, Gibson, Turturro, Dunn and White reprised their starring roles, with Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving returning as the voices of Optimus Prime and Megatron. English model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley replaced Megan Fox as the lead female character; the cast also saw the new actors such as the humans; Patrick Dempsey, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, and Frances McDormand and the Transformers; Keith Szarabajka, Ron Bottitta, John DiMaggio, George Coe, Francesco Quinn, James Remar, Greg Berg, and Leonard Nimoy. The script was written by Ehren Kruger, who also collaborated on the narrative of the 2009 film. Dark of the Moon employed both regular 35mm film cameras and specially-developed 3-D cameras, with filming locations in Chicago, Florida, Indiana, Milwaukee, Moscow, and Washington, D.C.. The film was rendered specifically for 3-D, and the visual effects involved more complex robots which took longer to render.
In May 2011, it was announced that Paramount would move Transformers: Dark of the Moon 's release date of July 1 to June 29 in order to monitor an early response to footage. Exclusive early premieres in select 3-D and IMAX theaters took place June 28, 2011, one night before worldwide release in 2-D and 3-D (including IMAX 3D) formats—each featuring Dolby Surround 7.1 sound. Critical reception of the film was mixed, with several critics criticizing its writing, acting, and length, but calling it better than Revenge of the Fallen and praising the film's visuals, Steve Jablonsky's musical score, and 3-D action sequences. Dark of the Moon grossed US$1.12 billion worldwide, and is currently the tenth-highest-grossing film of all time, the second-highest-grossing film of 2011 (behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2), the highest-grossing film in the Transformers series, and the tenth film to gross over $1 billion. Like the 2007 film, it was nominated for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects at the 84th Academy Awards. A sequel, Transformers: Age of Extinction was released on June 27, 2014. A fifth film as of now titled Transformers 5 is set to be released in 2017.