‘Transformers’ Earning More in China Than U.S.

Transformers Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction” is a bigger hit in China than it is in the United States, according to numbers released Tuesday by China Movie Media Group, a partner in the production.

So far the film has made $134.5 million in the People’s Republic in its first five days of release compared with $121 million domestically after five days in theaters. The film brought in $10.5 million Stateside on Monday and $10.4 million on Tuesday, so it’s doubtful it will match those figures after Wednesday’s grosses are tallied.

Moreover, the film has now shattered the record set by a China-Hong Kong production, “The Monkey King,” which grossed $133 million over 11 days, and it has done it in half the time.

China Movie Media Group said “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is on track to surpass “Avatar’s” record $217.7 million haul from the country.

It’s almost unheard of for a Hollywood film of this size and scale to surpass its Stateside gross in a foreign country, particularly a fiercely protectionist market such as China, which often takes steps to safeguard its local productions by giving foreign films unpalatable release slots.

However, Paramount Pictures, the studio behind the franchise, took great pains to incorporate Chinese elements into the film — shooting parts of the picture there, casting Chinese star Li Bingbing in a key role and partnering with local companies to help promote the film.

China Movie Media Group, the country’s largest distributor and film promoter, collaborated for the first time with a U.S. studio, providing ad, online ticketing and other forms of support.

The previous “Transformers” film grossed roughly $165 million in China.

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  1. Pratik Kshirsagar says:

    where is the sam Witwicky, colonel lenoxx, epps, Simmons, carly etc. please can you bring all of them in next part of transformers with cade and his family reply me I am waiting

  2. OlderButwiser says:

    A 3 hour kid’s movie? The Grandson wanted to leave half way thru the movie. Definitely a waste of money if you have children.

    • Angus says:

      It’s not a childrens movie. You’re like the parents who drags a 7 year old to watch the lastest edition of Spiderman. The kid has no idea what he or she is watching. No wonder they want out of there. Just because it’s a superhero, fantasy, SYFY movie you have to drag them there to see it. Most of these movies are taylored to adult audiences.

  3. Brian says:

    Keep in mind that population is not everything.. the per capita GDP in the USA is 10 TIMES the amount in China!! Also, the cost for a movie ticket is more expensive in China. I just watched it in Shanghai and it cost me RMB90 (~$15) plus another RMB50 ($8) for popcorn and coke; that’s $23 to watch a bad American movie. just crazy. Factor in China’s per capita and that’s like paying $230 dollars of your income to watch. Even crazier is the fact that everyone in China knows you can wait a week to get Transformers 4 on pirated DVD for RMB10 (<$2). So, the fact that China grossed so much revenue (even more than the US did) in the box office is actually a really startling & impressive statistic.

  4. Pu Xingyen says:

    Who cares? Lame movie series anyway.

  5. SSGTNELSON says:

    I don’t know about the rest of you, and I’m not sure if this is the reason, but I’m sick and tired of Transformer movies.

  6. Me says:

    This surprises who? Hollywood loves communism (for everyone else). They hate capitalism (for everyone else). Every week it seems there’s a story promoting a new award show there, new deals there…I keep waiting for the announcement they’re leaving for Beijing but that will never happen because government calls the shots. The irony.

    • joe says:

      It’s not 1950. Mabe we should start arresting directors again for collusion with the communist enemy? Last time I checked Hollywood is about one thing. The almighty dollar. Doesn’t sound very communist to me.

  7. Deejay says:

    Of course it helps the film was shot in Hong Kong.

  8. carlb says:

    the article answered why. part of it was shot over their and they used local actors. besides the damage to the infrastructure to america from the past three was pretty bad, better to destroy in other places. lol

  9. rosecityken says:

    there are 1.5 Billion people in china and roughly 330 million here. is it any suprise that more people are watching this movie in china.

  10. Zrebepaul says:

    Big name Stars like Jennifer Lopez can’t sell a Tune. So this is not a issue here, People are Jobless and if it comes down to this movie or feeding your face with Micky D’s…. Guess what’s going to have priority…….!!!!!!!

    • b. Mclane says:

      Its more than population. Hollywood purposely makes the super hero and Action films for Asian consumption ( especially China and S. Korea) . The revenues from these 2 countries often nearly equals the Domestic US. Combined with the rest of the World these serial films make the revenue that pay for more artsy movies. Every time you see a big Action film released its pure economics to fill the kitty.

  11. Well, I mean, they do have like 770 million more people, so it’s not a surprise it’d sell better there.

  12. Andrew says:

    The movie is probably a lot more palatable when you can’t understand what the human characters are saying.

  13. Tony Copelin says:

    Since China has 4 times the population of the USA and is now regarded by many as the world’s leading economy this is not surprising. .

  14. Steve Kane says:

    Can we imagine a day when there are no more Transformers films being made? I know that they have produced a lot of money, but is it too much to ask that an end be brought to the films made based on a toy? Apparently, there is no incentive for creative film making so the business just cranks out endless copies of the same puerile story along with the perpetual re-makes of past successful films. How boring!

  15. MadMoto says:

    There was a lot of buzz over it. I mean parts of it were filmed there.

  16. George says:

    Even though it might be grossing more. China doesn’t tend to pay the 50% they owe per customer so Paramount will still make more in the USA because it can at least collect.

  17. Keith Diggs says:

    Why would this be a surprise? There are over a BILLION people in CHINA and there are only 370 million people in America. Only an idiot would find this to be remarkable.

    • Phil says:

      Well , India has almost as many populations as China, but we never heard of any US blockbuster making money there.

  18. reni says:

    Tovq e nai goritiq film koito sam gledala nqkoga prez jivota

  19. Deep says:

    Nice Movie.. Very Much Interesting..

  20. Steve Smith says:

    This doesn’t surprise me considering Asias love of the gundam series

  21. Thank you China… Now Michael Bay thinks we need yet another piece of crap movie… now this one will last 3:30 hrs

    • ed says:

      Giant Robots!
      Dinosaurs.
      Robot Dinosaurs!
      Giant Robots riding Robot Dinosaurs!

      What’s wrong with you!?!?! Did your inner child die?

    • Joey says:

      Transformers Age of Extinction is the best one by a long shot so shut the fuck up

      • Colorectal Dynamite says:

        Yeah, if you have the mentality of a 10 year old. Never surprises me when less developed nations respond this way to wham-bang crap movies. More childish attitudes.

      • Botany Bay says:

        Thanks for that considered response; I always come to Variety for the stimulating conversation. So in that vein, you are patently a tasteless moron.

  22. Sahil says:

    Long live transformers speically optimus prime & michel bay……coming soon with new part or transformers.

  23. Rusty Citron says:

    Everything sells more in China,so the basis for your analysis is misleading for two reasons. The audience base is much different and while the gross numbers might be larger, the studios net almost 50% less than in the US because of the restrictive distribution rules. You’ve got to go by # seats, # of shows and avg ticket price NET to US. It’s NOT the film’s gross that’s important, it’s how much the studios actually deposit!

  24. Peggy says:

    So it’s Chinese propaganda? I don’t think Americans will be open to seeing their enemie’s propaganda in their movies.

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