On a rampage

Transformers... turns into a box-office behemoth with $100 million opening

By: Reuters | Mumbai | Published: July 11, 2014 1:00 am
Transformers... Transformers…

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, the fourth in the series of films about form-changing Autobot robots that save the planet, powered up with $100 million in box- office sales, jump-starting a sleepy summer with the year’s biggest opening weekend. 22 Jump Street, starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, was second with $15.4 million in its third week in theaters, according to studio estimates. Animated film How to Train Your Dragon 2 took the third spot with sales of $13.1 million during the weekend at U.S. and Canadian theaters.
Transformers 4: Age of Extinction stars Mark Wahlberg in his first outing taking on the evil Dinobots. The series’ three previous installments, starring Shia LeBeouf, generated nearly $2.7 billion in worldwide sales, according to Box Office Mojo. “It’s just a spectacular result,” said Don Harris, president of domestic theatrical distribution for Paramount. The film took in more than $200 million overseas, an indication of, “what a beloved franchise this is worldwide,” Harris added, crediting director Michael Bay who helmed all four installments. Transformers… added another $10.7 million on domestic IMAX screens and $16.6 million internationally.
Made for more than $200 million, the film pits Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and other Autobots against new villains. It met industry projections for its opening weekend.
The nearly three-hour long movie garnered mostly poor reviews, with only 17 per cent of 121 critics giving it a “fresh” rating, according to the site Rotten Tomatoes, but ticket buyers gave the film an A- rating according to polling CinemaScore.
Prior to the opening of Transformers, summer ticket sales had lagged last year by 15 percent, according to the box-office tracking site Rentrak, when blockbusters such as Iron Man 3, Monsters University, and Fast & Furious 6 drove ticket sales.
The previous weekend’s box-office leader Think Like a Man Too, a comedy starring Kevin Hart based on TV personality Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, was fourth with $10.4 million. Maleficent, Walt Disney Co’s revision of its 1959 movie Sleeping Beauty starring Angelina Jolie as a spell-casting evil fairy, rounded out the top five with $8.2 million and has totaled more than $200 million since opening on May 30. Transformers4: Age of Extinction was distributed by Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc. Sony Corp released 22 Jump Street and Think Like a Man Too.

 

Actor Shia LaBeouf charged with disorderly conduct, harassment

Actor Shia LaBeouf, who starred in the Transformer s movies and with Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was arraigned on charges of disorderly conduct and harassment at a Broadway theater. LaBeouf, 28, did not enter a plea on five charges in the tiny, packed courtroom at Manhattan’s Midtown Community Court. He was arrested inside New York’s Studio 54, where police said he disturbed a performance of the musical Cabaret, used obscene language and became belligerent when security guards asked him to leave.
He was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, one count of trespass, one count of criminal trespass and harassment in the second degree. The hearing was adjourned until July 24 and LaBeouf was released on his own recognizance. All of the charges are misdemeanors or violations so the actor would face minimal or no jail time if convicted.
The actor’s arrest is the latest bizarre behaviour from the former Disney star. Earlier this year he walked out of a press conference and attended a red carpet premiere at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival to promote the movie Nymphomaniac Volume 1 wearing a brown paper bag saying “I Am Not Famous Anymore.” In February he also set up an unusual art installation in a Los Angeles called #IAMSORRY in which visitors were asked to select a small item from a group of objects on a table and then escorted into a room where a silent LaBeouf sat wearing a similar brown bag on his head. He also apologised via Twitter to a graphic novelist whose work he was accused of plagiarising in his short film Howard Cantour.com. LaBeouf has starred opposite Michael Douglas in 2010’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and as a bootlegger in the 2012 film Lawless.

 

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