“Transformers: Age of Extinction” roared to life, especially overseas.
The fourth pic in the Michael Bay-Paramount CGI extravaganza made $8.7 in evening (9 p.m. and midnight) showings in the U.S., with $1.4 million coming from IMAX. The movie, tailored for Chinese audiences that have shown great enthusiasm for the franchise, made $3.5 million in midnight showings there, breaking the country’s record — besting “Iron Man 3” by 70 percent and the last “Transformers” installment by 75 percent.
The film also earned $5.5 million in Russia, the second-biggest opening day of all time.
The international numbers look good for Paramount, especially in light of its solid but not spectacular American opening. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opened in April to $10.3 million from screenings that started at 8 p.m., while “Godzilla” made $9.3 million. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” took in $8.7 million on its way to an opening weekend of $91 million.
There are also historical precedents to use for comparison.
The first “Transformers,” released in 2007, opened wide at 8 p.m. on July 3 — a Monday night — and took in $8.8 million domestically for all shows, eventually ringing up $70 million in its opening weekend.
The second movie in the franchise, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” opened wide at midnight on Tuesday, June 23 in 2009, making a brisk $16 million in sales in the U.S. That was a precursor to its huge $108 million opening
“Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” the third movie, made $5.5 million for 3D-only pre-midnight Tuesday screenings, the first rumble in a $97 million opening.