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Hollywood Blockbuster Wins China Holiday Box Office Crown

Despite its soft-pedaled advertising before screening, Hollywood blockbuster The Rundown succeeded in taking more than 70 percent of the box office revenue at the Spring Festival's film market, making it the No. 1 box office hit in Beijing 

According to Gao Jun, spokesman for the Beijing New Movie Federation, The Rundown earned some 2.3 million yuan (about US$280,000) in Beijing.


So far, the film has taken more than 12 million yuan (about US$1.5 million) nationwide. Together with another American Oscar-nominated movie -- Master and Commander -- the box office revenue of which is around 10.8 million yuan (about US$1.3 million), Hollywood films took the cream of China's movie market again during a holiday period, when more people visit cinemas.


However, unlike either last year's The Hero or Harry Potter II, which topped the whole year's box office lists, the total box office revenue in 2004's Spring Festival in Beijing was some 3,010,000 yuan (about US$370,000), 10 percent lower than that of last year, said Gao.


Gao thinks that there are two reasons for this year's box office recession.


One is that the latest movies being shown apparently lack box office charisma, though they have special features.


Meanwhile, the freezing weather over the spring festival holiday kept many movie-goers at home.


(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2004)

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