'Transformers Age of Extinction': Did the blockbuster really make $100 million?

By Daniel S Levine,

While there is no question that Transformers: Age of Extinction had a huge box office debut this weekend, some in Hollywood are wondering if the film really did make $100 million. Is it possible that Paramount is just inflating numbers?

When the numbers came in late Sunday night, Paramount proudly said that the film made $100 million in its first four days in theaters, from Thursday night to Sunday night. That puts would make it the highest grossing debut of the year. Seeing as that’s the number the studio announced, Box Office Mojo is sticking with it.

However, The Wall Street Journal note that some in the industry aren’t buying it. Data from Rentrak, which tracks box office numbers, received data from 4,100 of the 4,233 theaters that screened the Michael Bay film. Their numbers showed $95.9 million.

Rentrak’s data is usually lower than actual numbers and don’t count the independent theaters. So, the “actual” number might be closer to $97.5 million.

Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore told the WSJ that Rentrak may have missed some IMAX theaters, along with theaters in Puerto Rico, although Rentrak didn’t comment. “We believe in the accuracy” of the $100 million number, Moore said.

Nevertheless, all this bickering about a few million dollars really isn’t going to make a big difference for Paramount. Even if they can’t legitimately say that the film made $100 million over the weekend, they can still call if the biggest film of the year. It made $202.1 million in foreign markets, including an astonishing $92 million in China.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz and Kelsey Grammer, along with giant robots.

image courtesy of ACE/INFphoto.com

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