"Some of the scenes are in a different order, and the soundtrack has been altered slightly," said Dr. Francis Spitznagel of the Pew Center. "But for all intents and purposes they're the same movie - you could watch the first half of the second one and the second half of the third one and not notice more than a marginal difference."In fact, the study shows that for most of Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, the only difference is the digital insertion of Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley into several scenes that had previously featured Megan Fox.
"Although even in those cases, our researchers determined that Huntington-Whiteley was more than 80 percent identical to Fox," Spitznagel noted.
As for star Shia LaBeouf, the study determined that all three movies combined (total running times: 9 1/2 hours) required no more than 25 minutes of footage of LaBeouf, possibly 15 minutes if it turns out his facial expressions were changed digitally in post-production.
"Not that they changed that much," noted Spitzagel.
To perform the study, Spitznagel's team of researchers dissected all three movies frame by frame, which resulted in at least three of them being admitted to Georgetown University Hospital suffering from mental exhaustion and hearing loss.
"Subsequent examination showed they had actually lost 8-10 IQ points," said Spitznagel, who noted many of the researchers begged to be put back on the study counting pictures of cats on the Internet.
The study comes on the heels of the rumors posted at both TMZ and PerezHilton.com that the recent Pirates Of The Caribbean sequel, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, was actually cobbled together from outtakes from the first three movies and footage of the animatronic Johnny Depp from the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride at Disney World.