Box Office: ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Rules with $100 Mil

Transformers Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction” dominated the global box office this weekend, debuting to an estimated $100 million in the U.S. and $301.3 million worldwide, while announcing itself as a box office blockbuster in a summer defined by welterweights.

Both the domestic and international figures represent high-water marks for the year and set the film up for what promises to be a competitive Fourth of July holiday.

“This is the summer’s best chance at a $1 billion dollar film and after this weekend it’s well on its way to getting to that point” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com.

Backed by Paramount Pictures, the Michael Bay production cost $210 million after rebates, while trading in the troubled star of the original films, Shia LaBeouf, for the more press-friendly Mark Wahlberg, a move that seemed to extend the life of the $2.6 billion-grossing series.

“All of the new elements worked out great,” said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures. “Mark Wahlberg has taken on the leadership of the franchise and Michael [Bay] has re-energized this franchise.”

Stateside, the film unspooled at over 4,233 locations, more than 350 of them boasting Imax. The wide-screen format contributed a total $10.7 million to the picture’s domestic receipts, with other premium large formats from AMC, Cinemark, Carmike and Regal generating a healthy $7 million in receipts.

So far, the film pulled in $41.6 million on Friday and dropped slightly to  $32.1 million on Saturday.

Overseas, the picture is shaping up to be a monster, with the film hitting $201.3 million across 37 markets internationally including such territories as South Korea and Russia.  Among the highlights, the film scored the biggest opening weekend of all-time in Hong Kong with $4.8 million, captured $8.3 million in Taiwan and  nabbed a robust $10 million debut in Australia.

But the big story was China, where Paramount’s decision to film parts of the production throughout the People’s Republic, while enlisting local talent like Li Bingbing and an array of Chinese sponsors paid off with the biggest opening weekend in the country’s history, an astounding $90 million debut.

In Imax showings, the picture delivered $10 million in China, more than double its previous record of $4.5 million for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

“This franchise is in the bullseye for what the Chinese market seems to like,” said Greg Foster, chairman and president of Imax Entertainment. “It’s a big action movie with iconic characters and it’s all beautifully delivered.”

The results are also notable because the film was saddled with a nearly three-hour run time, an intimidating proposition for those who like their mass destruction in easily digestible form, and the critical reaction was frosty. Domestic audiences, who were more than 60% male, disagreed with reviewers, handing the film an A- CinemaScore.

Given that reaction, Moore said he predicts that the film will play well into Independence Day.

“These movies have traditionally played over the Fourth of July holiday,” he said. “There’s lots of generational viewing, with parents watching them with their kids, so it feels like we should have a great ten or eleven days.”

In non-giant robot related news, “22 Jump Street” surpassed the total domestic run of its predecessor in its third week of release, hitting $140 million cumulatively, making a “23 Jump Street” look like a fait accompli. It earned $15.4 million, good enough for a second-place finish in a weekend in which “Transformers: Age of Extinction” sucked the air out of the box office.

“How to Train Your Dragon 2” slid into third place with a $13.1 million haul, while last weekend’s champ, “Think Like a Man Too” had a steep drop off of 65%, capturing the fourth slot with $10.4 million. “Maleficent” rounded out the top five with $8.2 million, bringing its domestic total to $201.8 million.

Among other milestones, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” surpassed $200 million domestically, although after nearly two months in theaters, it hit that figure later in its lifespan than Sony Pictures would have liked.

Overall the stateside box office was down about 8% from the previous year, a weekend that saw the release of “The Heat” and the continued dominance of “Monsters University.”

In limited release, Bong Joon-ho’s long-delayed “Snowpiercer” finally scored a domestic release with the Radius-TWC production amassing $162,127 across eight screens, while The Weinstein Company’s “Begin Again” hit the right note with a $148,300 debut in just five locations. The musical comedy stars Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley and sparked a bidding war at last year’s Toronto Film Festival. The Weinstein Company will expand it to 175 theaters next weekend and will put the film in more than 500 by July 11.

“It’s the perfect date movie and it’s counter to what’s out there in the marketplace,” said Erik Lomis, The Weinstein’s Company’s head of theatrical distribution. “It’s going to have strong legs and lay in there and just play for a long time.”

Also worth noting, A24’s abortion-centered comedy “Obvious Child” expanded into 196 theaters grossing $555,000 and bringing its total to $1.2 million, while Open Road’s breakout hit “Chef” spent its sixth week in the top ten, adding $1.6 million to its nearly $20 million bounty.

As for “Transformers 5,” Paramount isn’t ruling it out, but Moore insists that nothing is currently in the works.

“As long as Michael Bay, working with Steven Spielberg, the producer on the films, keep developing new, fresh ideas that excite them creatively, we’re happy to keep financing them,” he said.

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  1. this movie is great get a good nights sleep dont eat and drink to much go alone no interuptions i loved it thank you micheal bay right on right on hi hi hi nicola love the pagini hyuara and OPTIMUS PRIME… IT WAS AWESOME I WILL SEE IT 100 TIMES

  2. TRANSFORMING THE BOX OFFICE RECORD BOOKS! says:

    My God! The box office list of superlatives for Transformers 4 reads like a Who’s Who Book of financial achievements: 1. Highest 3 day gross of 2014 with $100 million in the till. I bet it will be more when the actuals come in tomorrow(probably more like $101.5 million); 2. Over $300 million in ticket sales for the first weekend WORLDWIDE; 3. Proving that great minds think alike, TRANSFORMERS 4 made +10 million dollars in IMAX 3D tickets sales in both China and the United States, and grossed between $90 and $100 million dollars over the 3 days in both countries as well. Neither one of those feats had been accomplished, much less in the same two big box office markets at the same time. 4. There was non-stop box office records being broken in Asian and European markets around the world. I was overseas this week and there was a news story about an Asian man who is a big Transformers fan that purchased HUNDREDS of Transformers 4 tickets to give away to his family and friends and to win back his girlfriend. She must be a huge TRANSFORMERS 4 fan for him to go through all that trouble and take on that financial burden to drum up publicity to impress his girlfriend. At a minimum, he spent $3000.00 on Transformers movie tickets. That’s going to go in a record book somewhere. And I think this is an example of the Transformers mystique which owes a great deal of its credibility with fans to Michael Bay. He continues to push the limits of what you would expect from a Transformer film. Adding the dinobots was genius. The scenarios that we see Optimus Prime deal with are spectacles, and believable spectacles. Michael Bay and the Transformers’ franchise continue to amaze, and exceed expectations of the fans. With the long holiday weekend coming up, there will be little to no drop-off . Transformers 4 will cross $200 million next weekend in the states, $750 million worldwide, and blow past the billion mark possibly within 3 weeks. The first billion is coming and it is coming quickly!

  3. doc says:

    It ripped off the plot of Prometheus. Its sad that a movie like this can make more in one weekend than Edge of Tomorrow has made in it’s entire domestic run.

  4. rubik says:

    it ripped of scenes from superman and terminator..shamelessly

  5. Bill says:

    I think critics have forgotten what a fun summer film is all about.

    I loved this movie more than its predecessors and can’t wait to purchase the Blu-ray.

    It’s not “12 Years a Slave” – and isn’t meant to be.

    It’s a fun ride in which every penny is seen on-screen, best seen in IMAX 3D, and Michael Bay has once again proved NO ONE does action better.

  6. Kiera says:

    This movie was disappointing. The script is terrible. The CGI was great, but the CGI in the first movies were great and their script had a lot more substance. I love Transformers and was hopeful… But nope.

    • grimlockking says:

      I’m with you on this Kiera. I soon wanted it to be a fresh start of not having bad writers and Michael Bay actually caring about a movie, but none of this came to pass… ***Spoiler*** The movie contains ZERO Autobots (even though the title is thrown about) and as far as the Dinobots go, where the hell was Swoop, Slag, and Sludge? And who the F is Spike? Jesus H. C. Did they even bother to know the Autobots characters even remotely this time?

    • Kiera says:

      BTW Stanley Tucci is a fantastic actor, I enjoyed his moments.

      • WalterWhite says:

        Really….because in the trailers his acting looked horrible especially when he screwed OH MY GOD!! I haven’t seen it yet and I don’t think I will but I’ll catch it on Blu-ray.

  7. Scott MacD says:

    Hogging over 4000 locations and 10,000 screens, the fourth “Transformers” abomination should have grossed a lot more than what Paramount is crowing about. And with word-of-mouth quickly spreading even among fanboys that the film is every bit as stinking as Rotten Tomatoes indicated, check in a week from now for the final verdict. But take heart. For the past decade or so, U.S. moviegoers have been denounced as “the dumbest” for devouring nearly every franchise/reboot blockbuster the major studios have hurled at them. But the domestic underperformance of this summer’s biggies is hard evidence that American ticket-buyers are tiring of this cinematic swill. Overseas, however, the demand for these cinematic crapfests is more voracious than ever, particularly in China, whose moviegoers I would like to heartily thank for knocking their U.S. counterparts down to second place and now claiming first place for the dumbest moviegoers in the world. With luck, when the fifth “Transformers” is unleashed three years hence, it will be filmed completely in China and bypass a North American release altogether!

  8. mephistopoles says:

    Why don’t you wait until the weekend is over before saying whether or not a movie tops one-hundred million at the box-office. We know the rough points the picture who general production costs average around two hundred/two hundred twenty-five million have to hit, the 50, 75, 100 million to met the projected numbers from the bean counters to get sufficient ROI. When they hit 150, 175 million we have a true blockbuster on our hands. And the all time champeen so far is the Avengers with 200 million at the box office. Only the Avatar movies and the Star Wars movies have a shot at topping that but Marvel may beat their own records. But this is the third time this summer there was a prediction of 100 million which didn’t happen. Godzilla and X-Men were predicted to top 100 million for the first three days but did quite get there. I hoped Spiderman would have since the e first one was the first movie over 100 million at the box office for opening week-end but it was a big disappointment. Please, just wait a few more hours.

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