Hollywood Set for Huge June in China

Transformers coming to China
Transformers coming to China
 Paramount Pictures

June is shaping up to be a monster month for Hollywood movies in China with Transformers: Age of Extinction, Godzilla, Maleficent and Edge of Tomorrow all due for release during the first month of summer.

There will be 21 movies released during June and eight of these will be overseas films, according to the research group Entgroup.

China’s quota system restricts foreign movie imports to 34 titles a year on a revenue sharing basis. The market is growing strongly all the time -- box office is expected to reach nearly $5 billion this year from 25,000 screens.

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Other titles include Ron Howard’s Rush, the Cannes opener Grace of Monaco, sci-fi thriller Automata and Til Schweiger's action drama The Guardians (Schutzengel).

Edge of Tomorrow opens on June 6, Godzilla and The Guardians on June 13, Maleficent, Autómata and Grace of Monaco on June 20, and Transformers: Age of Extinction will open day-and-date on June 27, a week after its world premiere in Hong Kong.

The tight scheduling by Chinese film regulators basically gives the tentpoles a week each in which to make their money in the increasingly vital film market, now the world’s second biggest. But at least none have to go directly head-to-head, as has occasionally happened in the past. 

The casting of local actress Li Bingbing should give Transformers: Age of Extinction a boost and big things are expected of the giant cyborg movie. In 2011, Transformers: Dark of the Moon took $165 million of its $1.1 billion worldwide take in China, and four young Chinese actors were chosen to play supporting roles in the fourth installment of the franchise via a reality TV show.

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Transformers: Age of Extinction stars Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and Han Geng.

There had been question marks over whether Godzilla would get a China screening because of its heavy association with Japan, given ongoing tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over disputed maritime territories.

Tom Cruise is already featuring in Chinese trailers to promote Edge of Tomorrow.

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