Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction grossed a solid $8.8 million last night as the start of its likely weekend box office domination. The Paramount Pictures (a division of Viacom, Inc.) release opened with late shows starting on Thursday at around 9:00pm. Oddly enough, the whole “advance night screening” thing has become the status quo in the three years since Transformers: Dark of the Moon yet Paramount opted to start Transformers 4 showings earlier than Transformers 3 screenings three summers ago. So for what it’s worth, the later start time and the fact that the film runs 158 minutes long without end credits (so you’d have left that IMAX 3D screening at around midnight), makes this opening blast slightly more impressive. For the record, it’s higher than the $8.1m earned by Fox’s X-Men: Days of Future Past on its Thursday debut, about on par with the $8.7m earned by Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Thursday, and a bit below the $9.2m and $10.5m earned by Warner Bros.’ Godzilla and Walt Disney’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier respectively.
Oddly enough, even though this is the first Transformers film to open on a Friday, every prior installment has solid comparisons to work with in regards to advance night/midnight screening grosses. To wit, Transformers opened with Monday night screenings started at 8:00pm back in 2007 and earned $8....
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