'Transformers' Crosses US$300m Mark
13 August – "Transformers", already the all-time top-grossing movie in Malaysia, crossed the US$300 million (RM1.035 billion) mark last Friday (10 August), its 39th day of release. Boxofficemojo.com, which tracks world ticket sales, reported that it is hot on the heels of "Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End" as the year’s top-grosser.
Meanwhile, "Rush Hour 3" kicked off its opening weekend with less than two thirds the attendance figure of its predecessor. The Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker flick drew an estimated US$50.2 million (RM171 million) at about 5,200 screens at 3,778 cinemas, topping the weekend US box office. The action comedy sequel, which reportedly cost US$140 million to make, saw initial popularity closer to the first "Rush Hour" film than "Rush Hour 2".
Six years ago, "Rush Hour 2" bagged a US$67.4 million start from 3,118 cinemas. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, that would equal about US$80 million today, the most attended August opening ever. Its US$226.2 million final tally adjusts to nearly US$270 million today. The first "Rush Hour" of 1998 was a surprise smash, grossing US$33 million out on its first weekend or about US$47 million adjusted, en route to US$141.2 million or around US$200 million adjusted. Production price tags for "Rush Hour" and "Rush Hour 2" were US$33 million and US$90 million, respectively.
The lacklustre response was generally attributed to the six-year lapse since the last sequel. What's more, Jackie Chan hasn't been on American screens for three years, while Tucker's last movie was "Rush Hour 2". That "Rush Hour 3" had a sizeable debut is a credit to the goodwill generated by the first two pictures – or so Boxofficemojo.com commented.
Local box-office figures for "Rush Hour 3", which also opened last Thursday 9 August, are not yet available. However, "Transformers" has sold RM17.5 million worth of tickets as of 6 August, an all-time record in Malaysia.