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The latest “Transformers” movie, which features Chinese locations, actors and products, has so far earned almost as much in China as in the United States, driven by a record number of screenings for a foreign movie. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” has made an estimated $149 million in the U.S. and $134 million in China, the world’s biggest and second-biggest movie markets, respectively, according to figures from box office tracking website Box Office Mojo. Director Michael Bay’s film, which was released June 27 in both markets, heavily courted the Chinese audience by employing Chinese stars, basing part of the action in cities in China and showing Chinese products such as liquor and milk. A reality TV show to choose four people to play roles in the film helped to drum up publicity. Observers say “Transformers” is on course to beat “Avatar” as the biggest earner at the fast-growing Chinese box office. “Avatar” earned $218 million in China in 2010.



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