The fourth installment in Michael Bay's Transformers series hit movie theaters in China (and the U.S.) on June 27, and the film topped the box office again this weekend, making it China's second-most grossing film of all time.
Transformers: Age of Extinction has grossed $212.8 million in China so far, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The outlet predicts that Age of Extinction will out earn Avatar, which grossed a total $217.7 million in China.
Lily Kuo at Quartz says the film's success in China is due, at least in part, to the film's Chinese product placement and echoing of Beijing's policies. Despite a negative reception from critics, many of whom called Age of Extinction the worst of the Transformers series, Chinese audiences have responded well to the film's "flattery," Kuo argues.
Paramount co-produced Age of Extinction with Chinese studios, and the movie includes product placement for Chinese items ranging from Chinese banks to Lenovo computers. Aside from product placement, the film also puts an interesting spin on the current discord in Hong Kong, with authorities turning to Beijing's central government for help fighting the giant robots.
Kuo also notes that releasing the film on the same date in China as in the U.S. may have also boosted its success because it "cut down on time for pirated copies to circulate the country."
Age of Extinction has earned $575.6 million worldwide so far. China is the film's biggest market, followed by North America, where the film grossed a total of $174.6 million. Meghan DeMaria
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) maintained Friday that he'll support the Republican presidential nominee, even if that somebody happens to be Donald Trump, The Palm Beach Post reports.
In fact, Rubio might be more impressed with the billionaire business mogul than usual, saying his "performance has improved significantly" recently.
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump was none too thrilled Saturday with the protesters who blocked his way into California's Republican convention the day before:
The "protesters" in California were thugs and criminals. Many are professionals. They should be dealt with strongly by law enforcement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2016
Leave it to Trump to make an off-color joke about the incident once he made it inside the hotel Friday.
Jimmy Fallon has been singing bits and pieces of Styx's "Too Much Time on My Hands" on The Tonight Show for days. On Friday, he and actor Paul Rudd took the obsession to its natural conclusion, creating a shot-by-shot remake of the '80s music video. The end result is sufficiently goofy. Take a look below. Julie Kliegman
Hundreds of activists stormed Iraq's parliament building Saturday in support of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who had accused Iraqi politicians of corruption, CBS News reports.
The demonstrators climbed over blast walls in Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses most of the country's ministries and foreign embassies, after parliament couldn't reach quorum to hold a session. The protesters broke furniture, chanted, and waved Iraqi flags.
San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr released nine pages of racist and homophobic text messages sent between officers Friday and ordered all officers to undergo anti-bias training, The New York Times reports.
"We have nothing to hide," Suhr said of his 2,000-member force. "These are the actions of a few."
The messages, which disparaged blacks, Latinos, South Asians, and LGBT people, were found as part of an investigation into a rape charge against one of the officers.
The head of an evangelical legal organization has pledged to carry a gun into Target's bathrooms to defend against transgender women. Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver is calling for a boycott of the retail chain after it announced that it will allow patrons to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, The Huffington Post reports. Staver tweeted the following:
— Anita Staver (@AnitaStaver) April 22, 2016
Staver later claimed she always brings guns into public restrooms.