China Star’s ‘Brassiere’ straps on auds, coin

Pic has grossed more than $1.5 mil in Hong Kong in less than two weeks

HONG KONG — Most movies open big before quickly drooping at the box office. Not so “La Brassiere,” the latest pic from local production house China Star Entertainment. The film defied gravity in its holiday weekend opening, beating its opening day take on each of the five days that followed. Huge word of mouth means it’s still hauling in coin.

The $1.2 million pic already has grossed more than $1.5 million in Hong Kong in less than two weeks, leaving Hollywood films — including “Cats & Dogs” and “America’s Sweethearts” — in the dust.

In the film, veteran Lau Ching-wan and perma-tanned heartthrob Louis Koo play two guys challenged to create the “ultimate bra” for a lingerie firm. To do so, the men need to find out what it’s like to have breasts. In the process, they discover plenty about themselves and the women they’re pursuing.

It’s a premise ripe for a Stateside remake, and the perky script, co-written by producer Amy Chin and Chang Hing-kai, and excellent cast — featuring Carina Lau and Gigi Leung as lingerie design mavens and the objects of the men’s affection — rise to the challenge.

Directed by Patrick Leung, the film is another hit for China Star, which is quickly proving itself Hong Kong’s new master of film marketing: The company’s romantic comedy “Love on a Diet” remains one of summer’s box office champs, and “La Brassiere” is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest pics in the region.

It’s also a welcome break for Chin, whose last two pictures (including the Koo starrer “Born Wild”) received critical praise but failed to draw big audiences. A former production partner of John Woo, Chin has been working hard to produce a hit since Woo moved to Hollywood. With “La Brassiere,” her time has come.

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