Mr. Smarty Man

Hollywood Prediction

Michael Bay vs. Tony Scott

Michael Bay and Tony Scott in an epic showdown! Whose directing career is more successful?

February 28, 2011

By Scott Croco

Michael Bay  vs.  Tony Scott

Before Jerrry Bruckheimer partnered up with Michael Bay and synonomized Bay's name with fiery explosions and giant robots, Bruckheimer's director of choice was Tony Scott. Bruckheimer produced 4 Scott films before hooking up with Bay. Which Bruckheimer protege has had a better career?


Michael Bay Tony Scott
8 # Films 16
Transformers (2007) Hits Top Gun (1986)
Crimson Tide (1995)
Bad Boys II (2003)
The Island (2005)
Flops The Hunger (1983)
Revenge (1990)
The Fan (1996)
Domino (2005)
The Rock (1996)
Armageddon (1998)
Transformers 2 (2009)
Notable Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
Days of Thunder (1990)
True Romance (1993)
Enemy of the State (1998)


Commercial Success Score is based on adjusted box office numbers, calculated using domestic box office dollars, average ticket price in release year, U.S. population, and tickets purchased per capita.

Michael Bay leads in average adjusted box office, thanks to Transformers 2, Transformers, and Armageddon. Tony Scott, on the strength of Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop II, has the edge in total adjusted box office, but it's not enough to surpass Bay in this category.

Edge: Michael Bay

Critical Success Score is based on critics' scores as aggregated on Rotten Tomatoes and user scores from IMDB.

Neither of these guys have particularly good critical reaction, but Tony Scott looks like a critic's darling compared to Micheal Bay. Bay's The Rock and Transformers cannot hold off Tony Scott's best reviewed films, True Romance and Crimson Tide.

Edge: Tony Scott

Miscellaneous Score is based on Academy award nominations and wins, number of films directed, number of films written, Director's Guild nominations and wins, appearances on AFI lists, and inclusions in the National Film Registry.

Again, neither director has done particularly well with awards. Michael Bay's movies, Armageddon (4 noms, 0 wins) and Pearl Harbor (4 noms, 1 win), have done better than the sole Oscar win for a Tony Scott film: Best Original Song for Top Gun. The AFI and NFR lists are free of Michael Bay and Tony Scott directed titles. Bay has made 8 films, Scott has made 16, which puts him over the top in this category. Neither director has written any of their films.

Edge: Tony Scott

Final Verdict! Final showdown score is the sum of the three categories' scores.

Looks like Bruckheimer's original golden boy has had the most successful career so far. Michael Bay put up a good fight and both directors are still active, so this battle isn't over yet!

Winner: Tony Scott

Director Score F Rtng CS BO* ABO* BOS AN AW W MS
Michael Bay 27.42 8 49.5% 2.7 1764 221 21.5 13 1 0 3.2
Tony Scott 34.93 16 60.8% 11.6 1922 120 17.6 10 1 0 5.8
* In Millions of Adjusted Domestic Dollars

More Hollywood Showdowns

Sam Raimi vs. Gore Verbinski
Sam Raimi vs. Gore Verbinski
Who has had the more successful directing career?
Jaws vs. Jurassic Park
Jaws vs. Jurassic Park
Which franchise has been more successful?

Best Picture Predictions

Best Picture of 2007 Oscar Prediction
Best Picture of 2007 Oscar Prediction
Here's your Best Picture winner for the 2008 80th Academy Awards.
Best Picture of 2015 Oscar Prediction
Best Picture of 2015 Oscar Prediction
Updated! - Can MSM's formula accurately predict the 2016 88th Academy Awards Best Picture winner?