CHINA BOX OFFICE: Local romantic comedy The Break-up Guru provided the only resistance against the power of Paramount’s Transformers: Age Of Extinction at the Chinese box office last week, grossing $24.18m in its first three days.

The Enlight Pictures production, directed by and starring Deng Chao, came in second behind Transformers 4, which amassed a record-breaking $99.81m from 14.7 million admissions in its first three days. The mighty opening gross accounted for almost half of the sci-fi film’s international take and was on par with its $100m opening in the US.

Released only in 3D and IMAX 3D, Transformers 4 set an opening day record on Friday (June 27), grossing $26.9m from 4 million admissions, breaking the all-time opening day record of $17m set by The Monkey King earlier this year.

IMAX reported that the film’s opening three-day gross of almost $10m beats previous records set by Iron Man 3 ($6.9m over six days) and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug ($4.55m over three days)

During a forum earlier in the week, Zhang Hongsen, director general of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRT), urged cinemas to give screening space to The Break-up Guru and other local films, rather than dedicate all their screens to the 3D-only Transformers 4.  

Despite the stiff competition, Disney’s Maleficent managed a healthy $16.48m for a cume of $38.72m and third position in the weekly chart (June 23-29), followed by Godzilla, which took a further $7.6m for a cume of $76.99m.

Edge Of Tomorrow took fifth position with $3.22m for a total of $65.3m in its fourth week, while Grace Of Monaco grossed $1.77m for a second week total of $3.81m. 

At the bottom of the chart, local thriller Night Mail grossed $430,000 for a cume of $950,000; thriller Overheard 3 took $340,000 for a healthy total of $49.65m in its fifth week; A Noble Spirit took $240,000 (cume $370,000): and Midnight Hair grossed $220,000 ($2.12m).

Transformers 4 appears to have free reign to stampede the Chinese box office this coming weekend, as only smaller films such as American Hustle and horror sequel Bunshinsaba 3 are being released.

The next big local releases are the Old Boys: The Way Of The Dragon, based on a Youku internet sensation, on July 10 and the third installment in the Tiny Times series on July 17.