Speed Reads

Surprise, surprise

Transformers 4 will likely become China's biggest film ever

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.