The $2 Billion Reason Why Paramount Wants To Set 'Transformers 4' In China

Business Insider

Love it or hate it, "Transformers 4" is all go for 2014 with a new logo, a new lead actor Mark Wahlberg, and ... a new setting? 

According to Vulture, Director Michael Bay's been looking to set production in China and is trying to find ways to make the film with a Chinese partner.  

He's not the first to notice the overseas potential.  

Earlier this year, Disney teamed up with Chinese film production company DMG and filmed parts of the upcoming "Iron Man 3" in China.  

If Bay's planning on taking the franchise anywhere, China's his best bet considering these three things:

China's Huge International Market

Currently, China is the second-largest international market in the world. According the the Motion Picture Association of America, last year alone it grew a huge 35 percent. 

The top five international markets of 2011: 

1. Japan: $2.3 billion

2. China: $2 billion

3. France: $2 billion

4. U.K.: $1.7 billion

5. India: $1.4 billion

Tapping into one of the largest markets could lead to … 

A Wide Release in China 

Currently, China's been choosy with their rollout of big American box-office blockbusters.  

They opted to pit "The Dark Knight Rises" and "The Amazing Spider-Man opposite each other at the end of August.  

As a result both films earned paltry $30 million  when they each had the potential to earn much more

China's reasoning for doing this is to limit the effect of American films on the foreign box office.  

Filming in China and, even more ideally, working with a local production partner raises the odds that the fourth Transformers will get a wide release in the country instead of shoved off until a later date or put head-to-head with another American film. 

And, it wouldn't hurt if the film picked up a fan following in China as well since … 

Transformers fever has been on the decline in the U.S.  

"Transformers" has been far from a box-office flop at home, but like the tired "Shrek" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchises, after three installments, it gets to be a bit much for U.S. audiences. 

The one place where the "Transformers" flicks haven't seen a decline has been in the foreign markets. Rather, it's seen a sharp rise of $337.2 overseas million since the last film. Compare the differences in domestic and foreign grosses over the course of the franchise: 

                                                                     Domestic                    Worldwide

"Transformers":                                          $319.2 million                $390.5 million

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen":     $402.1 million                $434.2 million

"Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon":     $352.4 million                $771.4 million 

If the film can sustain a massive following elsewhere–as it's been doing–Paramount can expect an even bigger take in from the foreign box office. China is definitely looking like the hot spot of the moment to do so. 

SEE ALSO: Who's benefiting from the billion dollar bond film 'Skyfall' >

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