Transformers Tops Titanic
07.20.09 by BJSprecher
The above headline is true ... in China.
China Film spokesman Weng Li recently announced that director Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is the new all-time Chinese box-office champion, soundly defeating James Cameron's Titanic. The first Transformers movie didn't come close to Titanic's $52.7 million record, with ticket sales of only $37 million. But its sequel earned $58.5 million, making it the new leader by a wide margin.
To protect locally produced films, China has a quota system in place that limits the number of foreign-film releases to approximately 20 per year. Despite this, Hollywood films have already had a successful run in China, with Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and Terminator Salvation already topping the $15 million mark this year — the Chinese equivalent of "blockbuster" status. China currently has approximately 4,100 screens, and Transformers: ROTF received a wide release because of the absence of any major motion picture competition.
According to BoxOfficeMojo.com, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has earned $364 million domestically, with an additional $383 million earned internationally. This pales in comparison to the overall ticket sales for Titanic, which earned $600 million domestically and $1.2 billion internationally.