Transformers: Age of Extinction brought in an official estimate of $41.6 million on Friday, including Thursday night's $8.8 million start. BoxOffice projects that Paramount's global tentpole could net a $102 million domestic opening weekend from there.
Unfortunately, early word of mouth won't be doing the sequel many favors. Extinction's Flixster audience score is hovering at 66 percent as of Saturday morning--one of the lowest post-opening day results of the year for a high profile release and 10 percent behind The Amazing Spider-Man 2. On the plus side, though, this is a flick made almost primarily for international audiences, which means Paramount will be very happy with the global results.
Paramount's China outreach on behalf of Transformers: Age of Extinction is paying off in a huge way. Paramount tells BoxOffice that Age of Extinction posted a $30 million opening day (including Thursday previews), which, according to sources in China, puts it on pace for a record-setting $95 million opening weekend. This sets a new opening day record in China.
Not only would $95 million be the best opening for an American film--Iron Man 3 previously held the record with $64.5 million--but it also easily tops the performance of Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, which took seven days to hit $92.5 million.
This marks a huge turning point for the Hollywood-China relationship. Age of Extinction could easily end up topping the current #1 film of all time in China: Avatar with $221.9 million.
Other studios will be tripping over themselves to mimic Paramount's successful approach. The notion that a huge tentpole like Age of Extinction can open above $90 million in North America and China at the same time is staggering. Welcome to the future.
What movies are you seeing this weekend, ONTD? Seeing Transformers in IMAX3D tomorrow morning!