Chinese profits are expected to come close to the US market this time around.
Transformers: Age of Extinction opens in Hong Kong today, after months of anticipation. Since the previous movies of the franchise performed so well on the Chinese market (which is now the second biggest film market in the world), Paramount Pictures are expecting to gain a sizeable advantage on release weekend, thanks to the early release in Hong Kong. Transformers will open in theatres worldwide one day later.
Clever marketing and strong ties to China are likely to give Transformers an edge on the market.
Age of Extinction has been courting the sizeable Chinese audience since its conception, hense it has a built-in advantage on the local market. It was shot in Hong Kong and three mainland cities including scenes at the Great Wall. Chinese actress Li Bingbing was cast in the film, and four smaller parts were filled by actors chosen from a Chinese TV reality show.
Last Thursday, the blockbuster had its grand global premiere in Hong Kong, making it the first Hollywood blockbuster to choose the city as its official launch pad. Michael Bay and his cast braved torrential rain in the Chinese capital.
After that, they went to Shanghai, where "Transformers 4" was chosen to close a local film festival.
"Ensuring we have the best movie for Asia and for China is definitely part of the strategy," Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures, said for Reuters.
Per BoxOffice.com, the film is predicted to break the $90 million mark on opening weekend, and reach $265 in total domestic profits. Meanwhile, analysts predict that the concentrated effort in China might dramatically increase local profits and drive them up to the $200 million mark.
Transformers will dominate the Chinese market.