Decepticon wreaks havoc at Staples

Elaborate promo for U's 'Transformers' ride looms above Chick Hearn court

A Decepticon burst through downtown Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday to promote Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Transformers: The Ride 3-D,” that opens in May.

Promo features an 80-foot-tall image of a villainous Decepticon smashing through a wall of the arena, carving out a massive silhouette that measures 65-feet across. Live effects include black smoke and dangling wires, as well as chunks of debris and rubble strewn along Chick Hearn Court to bring the graphic to life. Image is positioned to show the Decepticon heading toward Universal Studios Hollywood.

Stunt runs through Tuesday and was timed with a trio of sports events taking place at Staples, with sizeable crowds guaranteeing U considerable Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts. The L.A. Lakers host the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, while the L.A. Clippers face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. The L.A. Kings also hit the ice against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

U collaborated with Michael Bay and Industrial Light & Magic and Hasbro to design the pricey motion-based flight simulator ride, that opens in May and tells an original story based on the shape-shifting robots in the “Transformers” film franchise.

Park has been ponying up considerable coin to promote the attraction, which the theme park calls its “most ambitious ride ever created,” buying a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl in February and launching online game PrepareForBattle.com. The ride is the latest addition to U’s Hollywood theme park, after the opening of Peter Jackson’s “King Kong 360 3D,” as part of its backlot tram tour. Park will next add its own version of Florida’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.