Transformers 4 breaks records in China

Updated: 2014-06-30 11:08


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Transformers 4 breaks records in China

Chinese actress Li Bingbing plays Su Yueming in the film from Paramount Pictures. Photo provided to China Daily

BEIJING - Though well prepared, China's movie market watchers are still stunned by the unprecedented opening of "Transformers: Age of Extinction", estimated to have grossed some 613 million yuan (US$98.7 million) during its first week.

According to, a Chinese film-rating website, "Transformers" broke the record of the highest ticket sales for a film screened in Chinese mainland on the first week, a record previously held by "Titanic 3D" (US$75.3 million) in 2012.

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According to "Piaofangba," a weibo account on box office research, the new installment of the Transformer franchise has broken several records in China, including the biggest opening, compared with the previous 122 million yuan, set by "The Monkey King."

The Paramount tentpole also dethroned "Iron Man 3" with the largest midnight screening box office: 20 million yuan.

The "autobots" owe their success to the 20,000 plus movie screens, but also to favorable screening arrangements.

Some 63 percent of screens were set aside for "Transformers 4", also a record.

Despite its success in China, the film was not as well received in the US, earning only US$8.75 million on its opening day, well behind US$10.5 million of "Godzilla" and US$9.2 million of "The Amazing Spiderman 2".

As of June 28, the fourth installment has received 18% support on Rotten Tomatoes, just one percent higher than the score "Transformers 2" earned. In comparison, the original "Transformers" was rated 57% fresh.

As China and the United States are about to renegotiate imported movie quotas, movie authorities have been calling for theaters to give more support to domestic productions.

Zhang Hongsen, director of film bureau under the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said on Wednesday at the 17th Shanghai International Film Festival that he hoped movie theater chains would be more rational and give domestic movies a fair crack of the whip.

Zhang said he heard of some theaters trying to show "Transformers 4" on all of their screens

"Have faith in domestic movies! How can we repeat the mistake on 'Lost in Thailand' in 2012 when we thought it would only reach 200 million yuan and finally found it was a 1.2 billion yuan movie?" said Zhang.

"The Breakup Guru", a domestic movie screened a day earlier, grossed a total of 57 million yuan, a not bad achievement considering its number of screens.

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