Transformers 4 will be co-financed and partially filmed in China
This year, China will get their special cut of IRON MAN 3 and next year it will be TRANSFORMERS 4. It was announced that Michael Bay's next film will be co-financed by Chinese government operated China Movie Channel and Jiaflix Enterprises, which is run by former Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences head Sid Ganis.
TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON grossed $352 million in the United States and $771 million internationally. Of that total, $165 million of it came from China. The country is the largest consumer of US movies outside of North America which is why we are seeing more pro-Chinese elements in movies. Just look back to the remake of RED DAWN trading enemies from the Chinese to North Koreans. Whether they are politically Communist or not, China is economically capitalist and Hollywood is going to bank on it.
This growing trend will not be going anywhere soon. Up until now, pretty much all studio films from Hollywood are released overseas. But, it has been in recent years that global box office performance has taken precedence over domestic gross. Movies like HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS get sequels because of total gross versus weak American box office performance. Movies in 3D have done exceptionally well and this has influenced release dates (G.I. JOE: RETALIATION) and directorial choices (PACIFIC RIM, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS). Comedy 21 & OVER was the first movie to actually shoot additional footage for an alternate cut of a movie, followed by IRON MAN 3, and TRANSFORMERS 4 looks to follow that pattern. (Thanks for the reminder about 21 & OVER, Rukas),
TRANSFORMERS 4 could easily incorporate a global plot into the film so that the footage shot in China can be integrated into the final film, but a fully alternate cut featuring "special bonus footage" could happen as well. Either way, the Mark Wahlberg starring blockbuster begins filming this year for a June 27, 2014 release date.