‘Transformers 4’ likely to be set in China in pursuit of bigger box-office

The “Transformers” franchise may be heading to China – all in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

According to Vulture, Paramount and director Michael Bay are bent on assuring a massive rollout for “Transformers 4” in the East Asian country by both setting and filming the sequel on the Chinese mainland with a local production partner. In addition, cultural censors are reportedly being given a say in the film’s depiction of Chinese military forces so as to assure they come off favorably.

With 1.3 billion citizens, the upwardly-mobile nation has become a lucrative market for American movies, with studios clamoring to secure top-shelf releases for their films there – all under strict standards and quotas set down by the Communist government. By giving the Chinese culture a more active role in the process – not to mention showcasing the country’s locations in the film itself – American studios can assure a more favorable run for their blockbuster titles in Chinese theaters.

Partnering with a Chinese production company serves as an added bonus by assuring that a film is counted as a domestic rather than a foreign production – all the better to secure a more beneficial release date and rollout in the country. This strategy was most recently utilized by Disney when they partnered with Chinese media company DMG on the forthcoming superhero threequel “Iron Man 3,” which is being partially filmed there.

“Transformers 4,” which has set Mark Wahlberg to star in the lead role, is slated for release on June 29, 2014.