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'Transformers' conquer globe

SHANGHAI movie-goers just can't seem to get enough of Michael Bay's sci-fi sequel "Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen," and they are following a record-breaking global trend.

Since the movie's release last Wednesday, Shanghai United Cinema Lines, the city's leading chain, said it had sold 20 million yuan (US$2.92 million) worth of tickets.

The film at the weekend, quickly racked up global sales of US$387 million, with Britain and China's mainland leading the international charge.

"Revenge" already ranked as the third-biggest movie of the year in North America, after earning US$201.2 million since it hit theaters, distributor Paramount Pictures said on Sunday.

The biggest of the new markets was China's mainland, which chipped in US$21.9 million, a record for an English-language film, the Viacom Inc-owned studio said.

"It definitely breaks the record for our box office," said Wu Hehu, deputy director of the United chain. "This is just beyond our expectations ... unbelievable!"

Despite negative reviews on the sequel, the public has voted with its wallet.

"I watched the 'Transformers' cartoon TV series when I was a little boy," says Jay Wu, a thirty-something white collar worker. "Now I am taking my son to see the movie and I am glad we are both fans."

Wu Hehu beams. "Many have asked me when we will end screening of the movie," Wu said. "As long as this fever continues perhaps."




 

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