China prefers new 'Hulk' over Ang Lee's '03 film

Superhero remake grosses $3.5 mil in its first week

SHANGHAI -- Universal's "The Incredible Hulk" has taken in 24 million yuan ($3.5 million) at the Chinese boxoffice since its Aug. 20 release, distributor the China Film Group said Tuesday.

Despite its earnings being significantly affected by the final days of the Beijing Olympics, the movie already has surpassed its 2003 predecessor, Ang Lee's "The Hulk," which made 10 million yuan in China.

With the Olympics over, the moviegoing audience has started to return to cinemas.

"There is an obvious increase in attendance after the Olympics," a spokeswoman from UME (Huaxing) cinema in Beijing said in an interview.

According to her, the seating rate at the cinema is currently about 60% on average, much higher than last week's rate, which she described as "very low."

"In the evenings, the rate can sometimes goes up to 70%, and there are even full houses at times," she added.

Post-Olympics, several big films are being lined up to be screened in China, including "The Mummy 3", a co-production between Universal Picture and Shanghai Film Group, which premieres Tuesday.