“Transformers: Age of Extinction” continued its global dominance this weekend, leading the worldwide box office with another $102 million.
The foreign total for Michael Bay‘s morphing toy-bots epic is now a whopping $543 million, more than double its $209 million domestic haul. It’s up to $752 million worldwide in just three weeks for Paramount, and is on its way to becoming the year’s first movie to gross more than $1 billion globally.
“Age of Extinction” opened in 12 more markets. The best was an eye-popping $20.4 million in the U.K., marking the biggest debut of the year in that market. Mexico delivered $16.2 million and Colombia registered the biggest opening weekend of 2014 with $5.2 million. In Argentina, it opened as the biggest live action release of all-time with $2.7 million.
China, where it has taken in more than $263 million, has been by far the largest market for “Age of Extinction,” which has surpassed “Titanic” as that country’s highest grossing film ever. That was Paramount’s strategy from the outset.
The studio, Di Bonaventura Productions and Hasbro brought on CCTV’s China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises as co-producers, and China Film Group as distributor there. Chinese star Li Bingbing was cast in a key role and the film was shot in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and features such national landmarks as the Great Wall and well-known skyscrapers as its backdrops. Director Bay and Wahlberg made several trips there before and after filming, and “Age of Extinction” had its world premiere there.
A driving force for the film has been 3D and IMAX. The giant screen format brought in $3.3 million in China this weekend, and has now accounted for nearly $30 million in that market. The global total from IMAX screens is up to $68 million.
Elsewhere, Fox’s “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” opened in 26 countries, but just two of the top 15 foreign markets. It debuted at No. 1 in 14 of them and brought in $31 million, led by an $11.4 million take from South Korea.
“How to Train Your Dragon 2” will cross $200 million in overseas grosses sometime Sunday, after tacking on $34 million from 62 markets this weekend. A powerful $15.9 million debut in the U.K. was the highlight for the DreamWorks Animation family tale, which has taken in more than $351 million worldwide for distributor Fox.
Disney’s Angelina Jolie live-action fantasy tale “Maleficent” took in $13.4 million from overseas this weekend and has now grossed almost $670 million worldwide. In Japan, “Maleficent” opened at No. 1 last weekend to finally depose “Frozen” after its 16-week run atop the box office there. It held the top spot this weekend with just a 25 percent drop.
The Tom Cruise sci-fi action film “Edge of Tomorrow” lifted its overseas total to $256 million by adding another roughly $4 million for Warner Bros. The studio’s Adam Sandler comedy “Blended” is at roughly $49 million after adding another $3.7 million.