‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ Makes $8.7 Million in Evening Shows, Sets Chinese Midnight Record

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The Paramount franchise reboot-sequel scored well here, and huge overseas

“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.

Also read: Michael Bay on ‘Transformers’ Haters: ‘Let Them Hate, They’re Still Going to See the Movie’

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.

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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.