By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 16, 2012 at 1:07PM
Mark Wahlberg will be the new leading man in Michael Bay's "Transformers 4," and the production may have its sights set on mainland China for this installment of the testosterone-fueled franchise.
Of course Bay and Paramount have profits in mind; setting the money-maker in China and partnering with a local production company will likely ensure a wide release for the film, where it can maximize its Chinese box office potential.
Cultural censors will reportedly serve as consultants on the in-the-works "Transformers" script, to ensure that the Chinese military are portrayed as "a highly competent group of superfighters." Because it is a Bay film, the American military will no doubt also get its usual ra-ra-USA time.
Chinese box office grew 35% last year alone, tallying $2 billion. This makes China the second largest international market in the world, following Japan, a market China is expected to eclipse by year's end. But because domestic productions only account for 40% of the country's box office, the Chinese government has been laying down restrictions for many big American blockbusters. For example, "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider Man" were pitted against one another, receiving the same opening weekend in late August. Both films made just over $30 million upon release, considerably less than each would have made if given a separate opening weekend.