Dean Napolitano and Joyu Wang report: The blockbuster “Transformers: Age of Extinction” topped Hong Kong’s box office in 2014, a year in which big-budget Hollywood tentpoles again dominated local cineplexes.
The fourth installment of the “Transformers” franchise pulled in HK$98.2 million (US$12.7 million), according to Hong Kong Box Office Ltd. That far outpaced “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which came in second and earned HK$56.6 million.
Director Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” was something of a hometown film: A major part of the action takes place in Hong Kong, including the movie’s climax, in which much of the city is destroyed in a battle between giant robots
The movie held its world premiere at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, with stars Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and Nicola Peltz hitting the red carpet while admiring the city’s dramatic skyline.
The cast also included popular Chinese actress Li Bingbing in a co-starring role, while other Hong Kong and Chinese actors took minor roles. Still, the movie failed to match 2013’s top hit, “Iron Man 3,” which made HK$106.4 million….(read more)
Top 10 Films by Box-Office Receipts in Hong Kong in 2014
- “Transformers: Age of Extinction” – HK$98.2 million
- “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” – HK$56.6 million
- “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” – HK$54.7 million
- “Interstellar”* – HK$51.1 million
- “X-Men: Days of Future Past” – HK$50.8 million
- “Golden Chickensss” – HK$41.3 million
- “Maleficent” – HK$40.9 million
- “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” – HK$36.97 million
- “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”* – HK$36.5 million
- “From Vegas to Macau” – HK$33.6 million
Savor this little gem, from John Nolte: Between 10pm Christmas Eve and 9am Christmas morning, Texas television station TXA21 broadcast a burning Yule log accompanied by Christmas music. Throughout its run, a large number of viewers tuned in to the virtual fireplace. During its final 30 minutes, an average of 28,405 viewers chose to watch a burning log over everything else, which beat the last 15 minutes of “CBS This Morning” on CBS11.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC
December 27, 1968: On this day in 1968, Apollo 8 returned to Earth, landing in the Pacific Ocean after a six-day mission. Prior to launch, crewmembers Frank Borman, James Lovell and Bill Anders trained for only four months instead of the typical year. Apollo 8 was the first manned mission to orbit the moon and was able to complete ten lunar orbits.
This week, forty-five years after Apollo 8’s live Christmas Eve broadcast, former astronaut and retired Captain James Lovell Jr. re-enacted the reading of Bible verses from Genesis at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Get the story from PBS NewsHour.
Wynton Hall writes: On Christmas Eve, the Obama administration announced yet another Obamacare enrollment extension on its HealthCare.gov blog for anyone who claims to have missed the myriad sign-up deadlines due to problems with the website.
The New York Times called the announcement “vague” and noted that “it was not clear on Tuesday how many people would be affected, or how consumers would prove that website errors had prevented them from signing up by the deadline on Tuesday night.”
The Obama administration announcement also failed to note when the “special enrollment period” would cease; however, White House spokesperson Tara McGuinness assured Americans it is not offering a “blanket extension” but will consider “assistance to individuals on a case-by-case basis.”
Insurance industry experts say the White House’s endless rounds of delays and shifting deadlines create more confusion and uncertainty in an already murky market.
“The goal posts keep moving,” insurance lawyer William G. Schiffbauer told theTimes. “That raises questions about whether insurers can collect premiums in a timely manner to pay claims from doctors and hospitals.”
Mission Control said Monday that unless something goes awry, two astronauts ought to finish installing a new ammonia pump Tuesday, during this second spacewalk. NASA originally thought three spacewalks might be needed.
A bad valve in the pump caused the breakdown, prompting the urgent series of spacewalk repairs.