Entertainment & Arts

Transformers: Age of Extinction rules the US box office

Mark Wahlberg in Transformers: Age of Extinction Image copyright AP
Image caption Mark Wahlberg stars in the fourth instalment of the franchise

Transformers: Age of Extinction has topped the North American box office and scored the biggest opening weekend of the year so far.

The fourth instalment in Michael Bay's franchise took $100m (£58.8m) despite generally poor reviews from critics.

It also added another $201.3m (£118.2m) from 37 international territories, including $90m (£52.9m) in China alone.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg as a mechanic who helps the shape-shifting Autobots fight a new enemy.

Made for a reported $200m (£117.5m), Age of Extinction met industry predictions for its opening weekend.

It topped Dark of the Moon, the third film in the series, which took in $97.9m (£57.5m) in its opening weekend in 2011, but failed to eclipse the $108.9m (£64m) debut of the second film, Revenge of the Fallen.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Age of Extinction sees the Autobots join forces with the Dinobots

It is expected to secure a strong second week of release, coinciding with the 4 July US holiday weekend.

"I think putting Mark Wahlberg front and centre accomplished what we wanted to do, and that's re-energise the franchise," Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said.

"He appeals to audiences, both critically and as an action star."

The three previous Transformer outings starring Shia LeBeouf as a teenager who befriends robot Optimus Prime, generated nearly $2.7bn (£1.6bn) worldwide.

Elsewhere on the chart, 22 Jump Street held firm at number two with $15.4m (£9m), with animation How To Train Your Dragon 2 at three with $13.1m (£7.7m) in box office takings.

Last week's chart topper, Kevin Hart comedy Think Like a Man Too, fell to four with $10.4m (£6.1m).

Maleficent - Disney's take on Sleeping Beauty starring Angelina Jolie - was at five with $8.2m (£4.8m), bringing its total domestic US gross to more than $201m (£118m) and its international haul to $586m (£344m).

North American box office
1. Transformers: Age of Extinction - $100m
2. 22 Jump Street - $15.4m
3. How To Train Your Dragon Too - $13.1m
4. Think Like A Man Too - $10.4m
5. Maleficent - $8.2m

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