Transformers: Age of Extinction [somehow] managed to rake in 630 million yuan during its opening weekend in mainland China, far surpassing The Breakup Guru, a domestic romance film that debuted the same weekend, while breaking a number of records including the opening record in the country previously held by The Monkey King.
Michael Bay’s fourth Transformers installment had already brought in $134.5 million during its first five days in China, even higher than the $121 million it had earned in North American theaters by July 1, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film was simultaneously released in China and North America on June 27, and despite only being open for four days at the end of that month, it’s already taken the mark for the highest grossing imported movie in the country for the first half of 2014.
Transformers 4 likewise broke records for its midnight showing previously held by Iron Man 3, bringing in $3.2 million through the late night shows, and China Movie Media Group (CMMG) predicts that the film will overtake the $217.7 million record total in China for Avatar, the country’s top-grossing film of all time.
The stunning performance of Transformers: Age of Extinction could potentially have implications for the import of Hollywood movies, as the government is keen to foster local talent, and there could be tougher controls on foreign movies coming into the Chinese market.
Just last week, Zhang Hongsen, a director at the powerful regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), said 2014 was “the year when the battle between Hollywood and China really begins.”
The film’s great success has also been attributed, in part, to the inclusion of Chinese elements, including roles played by actress Li Bingbing and Han Geng, as well as highly visible sites of Hong Kong and Beijing throughout the film.
Previously on Shanghaiist: Chinese company demands to be edited out of new Transformers film
Brothers on trial for blackmailing Transformers film crew in Hong Kong
Giant Optimus Prime bot shines in Hong Kong (and some other Hollywood stars)