Oscar-winning director Ang Lee's spy thriller Lust, Caution is expected to hit 100 million yuan (US$13.41 million) in ticket sales on the mainland as it has taken in 40 million yuan in the first week, Sina.com reported Monday.
The strong sales triggered forecasts from theater managers who anticipated the sales to surpass 100 million yuan, well above the original forecast of 60 million, the report said.
A cinema officer said Lust, Caution could be the biggest box-office performer in 2007 though it will have to face The Warlords and The Assembly, two films scheduled to hit screens by the end of this year.
Based on Shanghai writer Eileen Chang's novel, Lust revolves around a group of revolutionary students bent on killing a powerful political figure who collaborates with invading Japanese forces during World War II. It is shown in Chinese with both English and Chinese subtitles.
A cinema spokesman said the strong performance has been helped by the film's Golden Lion award at the recent Venice Film Festival and the numerous fans of writer Eileen Chang who yearned to see the movie based on her novel.
The strong reputation of director Ang Lee and praise heaped on performers, especially actress Tang Wei has also helped at the box office.
(CRI.cn November 6, 2007)