From one of the worst reviewed films of the year to one of the biggest financial successes, Chris Plante and Ben Kuchera discuss how Michael Bay continues to pack them in.
Transformers: Age of Extinction made $300 million in its first weekend of release. That number is insane, even by the standards of a Hollywood blockbuster, and shows the power of an international opening weekend.
The movie took in $90 million in China, an industry record. Not counting marketing spend, the movie has already made back its budget and will likely be profitable overall by next week if this pace continues.
The fourth Transformers movie is one of the biggest hits of the year. It’s also one of the worst-reviewed movies of the year, with critics getting out their sharpest barbs to heap scorn on a film that’s seen as loud, nonsensical and pandering. The reviews don’t matter, though; the people who showed up and bought their ticket tell the story, especially overseas.
The importance of the Chinese market has become an interesting story when it comes to these films with huge budgets, and Chinese appeal is baked into the movie when possible. There was an entirely different cut of Iron Man 3 for China, and Paramount was careful to shoot part of Age of Extinction in China and to feature a high-profile Chinese actor. The Chinese audience was courted just as hard as the United States, and it paid off.
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