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HONG KONG – Transformers: Dark of the Moon demolished Hong Kong box office records: Michael Bay’s bombastic blockbuster is the triple-crown winner for the highest-grossing opening weekend, the highest non-holiday opening day, and the biggest single day gross of all time.
The third Transformers opened last Wednesday and took in HK$6 million ($771,042), making it the film with biggest non-holiday opening in the territory. But the actioner gained momentum on Friday,, a public holiday to commemorate the 1997 Hong Kong handover from the U.K. to China, and raked in over HK$10 million in more than 800 showings, to become the biggest single day grossing film of all time. The film then went on to gross more than HK$40 million over its first five-day weekend to set the biggest opening weekend record. The last Transformers installment grossed HK$22 million over its first five days in 2009.
The third installment of the Hasbro toy blockbuster blew up the previous non-holiday opening record holder, last year’s Toy Story 3 with its HK$5 million first-day gross, surpassing the concluding chapter of Pixar’s beloved animated series by 27%. But the all-time opening record is still retained by Spider-man 3, with its single day taking of HK$7.6 million on May 1, 2007, a public holiday.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon’s box office take was undoubtedly boosted by the double-whammy surcharges of screenings in 3D and longer running time of 155 minutes. On average, tickets for Transformers 3 in 3D are 75% more expensive than the 2D films of standard running time.
Local exhibitors now believe the third Transformers would break the HK$100 million mark in Hong Kong to become the first non-James Cameron-directed film to do so. The director’s Avatar took HK$160 million in 2009-10, while Titanic grossed over HK$115 million in 1997-8.
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