Transformers raid Hong Kong in 'Age of Extinction'
By Grace Li and Stefanie McIntyre
HONG KONG (Reuters) - "Transformers: Age of Extinction" will debut in Hong Kong cinemas on Thursday, where audiences are waiting to see giant shape shifting aliens try to destroy their city.
The film, the fourth based on the Transformers franchise, is expected to become one of the highest-grossing movies of 2014, with the three prior films generating $2.7 billion in ticket sales at global box offices.
The series performed particularly well in China, which is now the world's second-largest film market, and Paramount Pictures took steps to appeal to Chinese audiences with its latest installment.
Filming took place in Hong Kong and three mainland cities including scenes at the Great Wall. Chinese actress Li Bingbing was cast in the film, and four smaller parts were filled by actors chosen from a Chinese TV reality show.
Last Thursday, the blockbuster had its grand global premiere in Hong Kong, the first Hollywood movie to do so in this Asian financial hub. Director Michael Bay and his star-studded cast, including Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer and Stanley Tucci, braved a short torrential downpour to walk the red carpet.
After that, they went to Shanghai, where "Transformers 4" was chosen to close a local film festival.
"Ensuring we have the best movie for Asia and for China is definitely part of the strategy," said Rob Moore, vice chairman of Paramount Pictures.
A day after its debut in Hong Kong, the movie will be released worldwide. Continued...