After the latest Transformers flick dedicated a healthy
chunk of its screen time to the Autobots and Decepticons trampling
through scenic parts of China, the company operating the tourist
spots has said it will sue the American studio for breach of
It’s not the carnage wrought over beloved national treasures
that has upset the Chongqing Wulong Karst Tourism Co. Ltd. though
— it’s the fact that Paramount failed to show the Chinese
company’s logo prominently enough. It also claims that by
intercutting scenes with shots of Hong Kong, viewers are left with
no idea where the scenic areas actually are.
At time of writing, Paramount has yet to respond
but Beijing-based 1905 Internet Technology Company,
another partner in the film, has claimed Chongqing Wulong Karst had
not paid its own contributions.
Transformers: Age of Extinction, Michael Bay’s latest
chapter of toy-based twisted metal carnage, may not have been a critical success but it sure has been a financial one. After
pulling in $576m (£336m) worldwide to date, it’s one of the more
profitable blockbusters of the year.
The film was made with heavy investment and partnership from
China, and its many scenes in the country were crafted to both
reflect that and appeal to cinema-goers in the country. It’s either
perfectly understandable or perfectly ironic that the legal
manoeuvre on Chongqing Wulong Karst’s part comes right as Age
of Extinction has become the top grossing film in Chinese cinematic history. The movie took $222.7m (£130m) in
10 days, overtaking the $221.9m (£129.5m) of the previous record
holder, James Cameron’s Avatar. If a product placement
deal was in place and not adhered to, then that’s a huge number of
potential customers lost.
It’s not the first time the film’s Chinese partners have balked
at the finished product. Last month, the Beijing Pangu Investment
Company tried to pull out of any involvement with the film. Then again,
Wired.co.uk wasn’t too pleased with the film, either.