CHin sets date with '2012'

Chin Han, who plays shady Hong Kong businessman Lau in "The Dark Knight," has landed a role in Columbia Pictures' "2012," directed by Roland Emmerich. He will play Lin Pang, who becomes indispensable in the fight to save a group of citizens from natural disasters. Shooting begins in August in Vancouver. Chin is repped by Echelon Talent Management and Essential Talent.

LASER Guided

A movie theater in Beijing has installed what it claims is the world's first projector that uses a laser rather than conventional light, breaking ground on projection technology that U.S. theaters are barred from exploring because of safety regulations. The Beijing Hua Xing Ultimate Movie Experience opened Thursday with a screening of John Woo's epic "Red Cliff" using a projector made by a local company. The projector was installed in an existing 120-seat hall in the Chinese capital at a cost of about 1.2 million yuan ($176,000).

British B.o. Booms

Films from the U.K. made $3.3 billion at the worldwide boxoffice in 2007, a 50% jump from the $2.2 billion made in 2006, according to figures published Monday in the U.K. Film Council annual statistical yearbook. The boost came from such hit U.S. co-productions as "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Golden Compass" as well as all-British films including "Mr. Bean's Holiday" and "Hot Fuzz."