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Bay produced Dream Works' I Am Number Four, based on a series of novels by Pittacus Lore published by Harper Collins Children's Books. Bay and Wyndcrest Holdings, a Florida-based investment firm, acquired the digital effects company Digital Domain from James Cameron and Stan Winston in 1996, infusing the struggling business with a $50 million investment.
In 2015, the company announced an interactive publishing division to offer "augmented reality" content from printed graphic novels with digital video.The graphic novels employ Touchcode technology from T ink (previously used in the Power Glove), in which ink used in the printing process unlocks access to exclusive content that is housed on the Machinima Network, which is transferred to users' touch-screen-enabled mobile devices when the printed books are touched to those devices.The company's premiere slate of graphic novels was unveiled at the October 2015 New York Comic-Con.Bay often traces his interest in action films back to an incident during his childhood.As a boy, he attached some firecrackers to a toy train and filmed the ensuing fiery disaster with his mother's 8 millimeter camera.It was the first film Bay made without Jerry Bruckheimer as a producer. The previews earned $8.8 million, and in its first day of general release it grossed $27.8 million, a record for Tuesday box office attendance.
The Island cost $126 million to produce and earned $36 million domestically and $127 million overseas making a worldwide total of $163 million. It broke the record held by Spider-Man 2 for the biggest July 4 gross, making $29 million.
Pearl Harbor won in the category for Sound Editing, making it Bay's first (and, to date, only) film to win an Oscar.
Bay reteamed with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence for Bad Boys II, a sequel which also marked Bay's fifth collaboration with Jerry Bruckheimer.
The film grossed $138 million domestically, enough to cover the production budget, and $273 million worldwide, almost twice as much as the first movie.
In 2005, Bay directed The Island, a science fiction film starring Ewan Mc Gregor and Scarlett Johansson.
Shooting in Miami was a good experience for Bay, who would later own a home in the city and spend a great deal of time there.