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Thieves Snatch Money

The film A World Without Thieves has shown signs of success. Nationwide, the movie raked in 33 million yuan (US$4 million) in box office the first weekend since released Thursday, much more than Cell Phone, also produced by Feng Xiaogang last year.

In Shenzhen alone, the weekend saw the movie grab nearly 2 million yuan. According to some of Shenzhen's cinema managers, the film has been a strong boost to the city's plummeting cinema market.

It seems that the film is enjoying a higher popularity than House of Flying Daggers, which is from China's most prominent director Zhang Yimou. Some industry experts predict that A World Without Thieves' revenue could reach beyond 100 million yuan. So far, only House of Flying Daggers has achieved that box office milestone.

Through Sunday, A World Without Thieves raked in 5 million yuan in Beijing, and its three days of screening in Shanghai helped bring in more than 2 million yuan. In contrast, Cell Phone's three-day screening in Shanghai last year only generated 760,000 yuan.

Cinemas screening the film report that about 80 percent of the seats were occupied and predict ticket sales will continue to climb later this month.

Why has the film become such a hit? A Shenzhen-based cinema manager cited three reasons: Feng's popularity, word of mouth and a cluster of famous movie stars in the film.

The film stars Hong Kong actor Andy Lau and Taiwan actress Rene Liu.

In Hong Kong, A World Without Thieves' daily revenue is about HK$400,000, surpassing all other films screened during the same period.

(Shenzhen Daily December 15, 2004)

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