It's all about making a spectacle
Updated: 2014-07-03 07:14
By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)
The latest installment of the Transformers series features a whole new human cast, including Mark Wahlberg (left) and Nicola Peltz. Photo provided to China Daily
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Transformers: Age of Extinction, which opened in China on June 27, has been making waves at the Chinese box office. Its midnight opening screenings raked in 20.8 million yuan ($3.35 million), trumping the previous high of 13 million yuan set by Iron Man 3 a year ago. Its first-day tally of 196 million yuan nudged aside The Monkey King, which, just six months ago, grossed 122 million yuan on its first day of release. The new Michael Bay movie also set a new record in one-day sales with 214 million yuan.
Other records broken by Transformers 4, as it is popularly known in China, include: 63 percent of all screens for a single day, a record previously held by Feng Xiaogang's Personal Tailor (58 percent); and 614 million yuan in first-weekend grosses versus 468 million for the 3-D version of Titanic.
But this second number is more significant if compared with its US first-weekend total, which is $100 million according to Boxofficemojo, a website that counts box-office figures for all US films.
Factoring in currency conversion, 621 million yuan means the movie's performance in the United States seems to be slightly better than in the Middle Kingdom. But if 630 million yuan, a figure used by China Film News, a more official source, is chosen, its China performance actually edged ahead.
We do not need to quibble about such small discrepancies. All figures point to the undeniable popularity of the movie in China. Yet, in its home market it is not even considered a good popcorn movie for the summer season.