If you headed out to see “Transformers: Age of Extinction” over the weekend, you may have noticed the above actress, Li Bingbing, in a supporting role.
While most are probably not very familiar with the foreign actress, in a few years you will be.
She’s one of two huge Chinese actresses who has been popping up in small cameos of some of Hollywood’s biggest summer blockbusters.
Both she and Fan Bingbing are making appearances to appeal to viewers overseas in the second largest box-office market: China.
(In case you’re wondering, no, they’re not related. The two actresses actually share the same first name. It’s customary to write the surname, first.)
Here’s where you’ve probably seen the two.
Most recently, Li played an owner of a Chinese Factory, Su Yueming, in “Age of Extinction.”
Fan Bingbing played a mutant Blink with the ability to transport herself, others, and objects in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
She was also in a few scenes added specifically into “Iron Man 3” for China audiences.
Their appearances in these films have helped these films soar at the box office overseas.
When “Transformers: Age of Extinction” opened in theatres, it didn’t just have a big opening stateside making $US100 million, it also had the largest debut ever in China with $US90 million.
“Iron Man 3” debuted to $64.5 million in the country.
It shows the enormous potential in China for distributors.
We’ve previously discussed how Hollywood is starting to cater to China by inserting Chinese actors and actresses into its films, adding alternate and additional scenes, and making films overseas.
That’s because by 2018, China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the primary box-office moneymaker, according to IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond.
In the past decade, China’s box office has seen more than 30% growth. The Los Angeles Times reported the country’s box office grew more than 22% so far this year thanks to both “Transformers” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
In 2013 alone, the box office totaled $US3.6 billion in China. The U.S. box office had a record-breaking $US10 billion year in 2013.
Expect not only to see more films made in China, but also a lot more of these two in the future.
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