‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Hits $8.75 Mil at Thursday Box Office

Transformers Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction” stampeded into theaters on Thursday, racking up $8.75 million from evening showings, according to studio estimates.

The film screened at approximately 2,990 locations in the U.S. starting at 9 p.m., with Imax representing $1.4 million of that estimate.

It’s a big number, but it’s also a new low for the franchise in terms of late-night results. The most recent film in the series, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” earned $13.5 million from late-night showings, while the second installment, 2009′s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” snagged a series-leading $16.6 million from midnight showings. The previous low-water mark was 2007’s “Transformers,” which earned $8.8 million from its preview and midnight screenings.

Paramount compared the late-night results with a number of recent Thursday releases such as the $9.3 million that “Godzilla” brought in and the $10.3 million start for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” both of which began showings earlier in the evening.

Internationally, the film is shaping up to be a juggernaut, racking up $30 million in foreign territories, including setting a record in China with an estimated $3.5 million debut on Thursday.

It also scored a huge $5.5 million debut in Russia and the biggest opening day of all time in Taiwan with $1.4 million.

The sequel is pitched with an eye toward foreign markets, and will debut in 37 markets internationally this weekend, including such key territories as South Korea and Australia. The biggest coup for Paramount is landing a day-and-date premiere in China. The film went to great lengths to appeal to Chinese audiences, filming portions in such national landmarks as the Great Wall and casting local star Li Bingbing in a significant role.

China is the world’s second-largest film market and was the foreign territory that contributed the most to the bottom line of the previous film in the franchise, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” adding nearly $170 million to its total.

The Paramount Pictures release will now expand to approximately 4,200 locations domestically, 353 of which are Imax, in what analysts project will be a $100 million opening. If it hits that mark it will be the first film to premiere to nine figures this year.

The Michael Bay production is the fourth film in a franchise that has already brought in $2.6 billion globally in ticket receipts. It was filmed for $210 million after rebates. It’s banking on a new cast, led by Mark Wahlberg, to reinvigorate the franchise and possibly inspire a new trilogy, while its previous star, Shia LaBeouf, remains mired in controversy — having been arrested in New York on the film’s opening night.

Reviews for the film have been abysmal, with Rotten Tomatoes awarding it with a 17% rotten rating, but the picture appears to be critic-proof.

For Paramount, big box office will always be preferable to a slot in the Criterion Collection.

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  1. Wat says:

    Watched it today it was soooo AWSOME best Summer movie if you haven’t seen it see it, it’s worth it

  2. saad says:

    i hate how people who don’t like bay’s transformers movies act like they are better than the people who do like them. People like cadavra and jschaubert are my problem. you guys sound just like the type of people who would flock right away to see a movie that is well reviewed by a bunch of movie critics, a movie that is so boring, so generic, and so forgettable.

  3. Julienne says:

    All Bay cares about is butts in the seats. Money-money-money. He’s got so much of it, he doesn’t know what to do with it. He created some fake spiritual development school to bury his taxes, he’s made so much. I believe it’s more of a spiritual brothel.

  4. jschaubert says:

    News like this depresses me. Obviously a large portion of the world likes these movies. But come on, seen one explosion, seen ’em all, right? Aren’t they just the same thing over and over?

    O well, sadly we’ll be “treated” to another one of these clunkers in a couple years. That’s ‘Murica for you.

  5. Cath says:

    Sure it was long, but it was, gee, a Transformer movie! The transformations were sharp and clear. It had humor. The acting was better than usual. Had to see it last night in 2D since our theater was not showing it in 3D until today. We will see it again, but in 3D on Saturday. I liked it much better than “22 Jump Street” which the critics fawned over. I am not in the Transformers demographic. Far from it. Sometimes I wonder why critics bother even seeing a movie like this, oh wait, sometimes I suspect they don’t. They just write the reviews anyway, in a Mad Lib style.

    • Boy101 says:

      I hate people like you who dismiss critics by lumping them with haters. If you watched hundreds of movies I think youre more equipped with cinematic knowledge then someone like you. And if you’ve seen the greats then you’ll recognaize the pieces of shit that are the transformers movies.

      • sean says:

        But I agree that these movies suck. I was just dumb enough to see them all in theaters.

  6. therealeverton says:

    I’m still wondering why Variety keep using the word reinvigorate for a film that is the 4 th in a line if films that made more money than the previous film, with the previous instalment taking over $1b and doing just fine with fans of the film series.

    The critics and “fans” who hate the films and Bay(‘s style) may be loud, but clearly the peoples who buy tickets outnumber them.

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