Transformers: Age of Extinction, also known as Transformers 4 held an early screening in Beijing on June 23.
According to a Sina report, the movie was partly filmed in Chongqing, Hong Kong, and Beijing, with many shots of landmarks like the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube.
The movie however, also features a dragon-shaped hotel owned by Pangu Investment Company, which was recently involved in a dispute with Paramount Pictures due to an alleged breach of contract.
Pangu asked that any scenes capturing its distinctively shaped building be cut from the film before its premiere.
Three days after its initial complaint, a Pangu representative explained that a lack of direct communication with Paramount Pictures had led to a misunderstanding.
The representative denied that Pangu was stirring up hype for the film and added that, 'out of respect for director Michael Bay and love for the Transformers franchise', the company had already retracted its application to halt the airing of Transformers 4 in mainland China.
Slated to open worldwide on June 27, Transformers 4 is expected to yield an optimistic box office run, though the film’s forced Chinese elements have sparked debate among viewers.
In order to cater to the Chinese market, Transformers 4 features appearances from well-known Chinese artistes like actress Li Bingbing and singer/actor Han Geng.
To the surprise of many, Bingbing is not merely a useless bystander in the film. She appears in many scenes, some of which involve her riding a motorcycle or holding her own in a violent fight.
However, Han Geng has only one line in the entire film, and a similar fate befell boxing champion Zou Shiming, who gets to show off his boxing moves for only a few seconds.
Other Chinese actors, such as The Bund actor Ray Lui and actor Wu Gang , were merely faces lost in the crowd.
The obvious product placement in Transformers 4 also led to much discussion among viewers, some of whom called the film a “long and tedious commercial.”
Despite the extravagant price ticket for an in-movie commercial, Transformers 4 includes advertisements for all categories of Chinese brands, from egg white powder and mineral spring water to cars and jewels.
Prior to the release of Transformers 4, debate arose about an alleged scene advertising spicy duck neck, sold by a Chinese fast food chain.
Though it was revealed that the duck neck had only a brief appearance in a refrigerator, reporters later uncovered the news that many commercial brands had requested special camera angles or dialogue that would highlight their products.