'Red Cliff' boxoffice hits record $44 mil

John Woo war epic in theaters for one month

BEIJING -- China's costliest film, director John Woo's third century war epic "Red Cliff," has set a new boxoffice record for a domestic movie, putting it within reach of China's all-time boxoffice record, held by "Titanic."

Earning 302 million yuan ($44.04 million) in the month since its July 10 opening, "Red Cliff" smashed the previous domestic movie boxoffice record held by "Curse of the Golden Flower," a report published late Monday on Sohu.com, said.

"Curse" earned 286 million yuan and got Olympics opening ceremony director Zhang Yimou nominated for an Oscar in 2006.

"Red Cliff," starring Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro, was made for $80 million, is the most expensive Chinese film ever made.

Ticket sales have now boosted it to become the first Chinese film to earn more than 300 million yuan.

"Red Cliff" opened on July 10, and took only four days to earn 100 million yuan. It grossed 200 million yuan in 10 days, Sohu said.

An unnamed official of the China Film Group, Woo's producer and distributor, told Sohu he expects "Red Cliff" to outearn "Titanic" the 1997 American blockbuster that earned 360 million yuan in China, making it the biggest film of all time here.

"Red Cliff" will open the Tokyo International Film Festival on Oct. 18. A sequel is due in December.
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