Transformers has set a new opening day record for an imported film in China, taking in $2.95m (RMB22.4m) on July 11. Previously, the record was set by Spiderman 3 which took $2.34m on its opening day.

Beijing 's multiplexes were packed from early morning on Wednesday for the 12am premiere of the film. Cinemas in two major circuits - New Film Association and Stellar Megamedia - have been adding extra screening sessions to meet the constant demand. In addition, the newly established Sino-Korean Multiplex Beijing Megabox, added two extra screenings on the opening night.

The film was released on 550 prints nationwide, according to a Paramount China representative, and the number of prints is also on the rise.

The mainland China release date of Transformers was around two weeks later than its world release due to China 's annual local film protection month. But the box office receipts do not appear to have been affected too much by piracy during the time lapse.

New Film Association spokesman Gao Jun estimates that the film will reach the $13m (RMB100m) threshold within a week.

If it breaks that barrier, Transformers will be the third film this year to do so following Sony's Spiderman 3 and BVI's Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End. 'This year so far, revenue-sharing films have far more impressive sales than local films,' Gao said.

Seven imports have grossed more than RMB100m since 1994, when China first opened its market to revenue-sharing imported films. These include two films released last year - Da Vinci Code with RMB105m ($13.43m) and King Kong with RMB102m ($13.18m). The highest-grossing foreign film in China is still the 1998 release of Titanic with RMB320m ($40m).