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Distrib kicks up biz with Bruce Lee set

'Boss,' 'Fury,' 'Dragon,' 'Game' included in collection

HONG KONG — Nearly 31 years after his death, martial arts star Bruce Lee’s feature films have received a complete audiovisual makeover and will be packaged together for the first time.

The Bruce Lee Ultimate DVD Collection will include “The Big Boss,” “Fists of Fury,” “Way of the Dragon,” “Enter the Dragon,” “Game of Death” and “Game of Death II” (aka “Power of Death”).

The collection also comes with a booklet and a bonus disc of trailers, unseen footage and celebrity interviews.

The set debuted here April 29 and will be released in Taiwan the second week of May.

It’s a unique package. Warner Bros. owns worldwide rights to “Enter the Dragon,” with the exception of Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and parts of Southeast Asia including Malaysia and Singapore, so a complete box set can only happen in these areas, says Peter Poon, general manager of Fortune Star, the production and distrib arm of Star Group.

The Bruce Lee collection comes with a HK$498 ($63.85) pricetag. Fortune Star intends these sets to be collector’s items, with the first 5,000 boxes identified with an individual serial number etched into a metal plate. Pre-sales from retailers in Hong Kong and Macau have been encouraging, with 10,000 box sets already sold.

Fortune Star plans to release a new box set every month this year in Asia, with subjects ranging from Jet Li to John Woo.

For the U.S., Fortune Star has a different strategy: It plans to release a batch of five Hong Kong movies every quarter, distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. At least five of the titles released in the U.S. have been top-10 sellers for foreign DVDs.

The remastered Bruce Lee films will be released in the U.S. at the end of October.

The U.S. is a massive market where Hong Kong film is a niche, Poon said, and the goal is to hit the mass market. To that end, the DVDs have been redubbed with a standard American-English accent. They will be sold at mass marketers for $9.99 each.

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