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June 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A final tally later today (Monday) could change the result, but Paramount estimated on Sunday that Transformers: Age of Extinction opened with more than $100 million, the first film of 2014 to pass that threshold over its first weekend. Moreover, the film earned an additional $200 million from 37 overseas markets, nearly half coming from China, a solid affirmation that the producers’ decision to find ways to include Chinese content and characters in the plot paid off handsomely. China is the second-largest movie market in the world now, behind North America, and the Transformers result — Chinese theaters brought in nearly as much for the movie as America’s — will no doubt see an increase of similar movies contrived to appeal to the Chinese. To director Michael Bay, who was excoriated by critics for what they maintained was a loud, confusing, violent film that was a virtual clone of the three previous films, the result also represented solid vindication. The critics did not let up even after the success of the film became apparent. "I don’t blame Michael Bay or Paramount for making unnecessary fourquels. I do blame you for paying to see this hot mess," wrote Nikki Finke on her website, adding, "Bay knows his audience and gives them what they want: the same action and plot over and over and over and over again, ad nauseam." Meanwhile, far behind in second place was 22 Jump Street with about $15.4 million. How to Train Your Dragon 2, came in third with $13.1 million, ahead of Think Like a Man Too with $10.4 million. Rounding out the top five was Maleficent with $2.59 million — which pushed its domestic gross past $200 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo:
1. Transformers: Age of Extinction, $100 million; 2. 22 Jump Street, $15.4 million; 3. How To Train Your Dragon 2, $13.1 million; 4. Think Like a Man Too, $10.4 million; 5. Maleficent, $8.2 million; 6. Jersey Boys, $7.6 million; 7. Edge of Tomorrow, $5.2 million; 8. The Fault in Our Stars, $4.8 million; 9. X-Men: Days of Future Past, $3.3 million; 10. Chef, $1.6 million.