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New ‘Curse’ date a pain

Move gives pic more time to take in higher B.O.

The Chinese wide release for Zhang Yimou’s latest costume historical epic, “Curse of the Golden Flower,” is being pushed forward a week to Dec. 14, putting it head to head with Andy Lau’s cop pic “Confession of Pain.”

Zhang Weiping of the New Picture Co. told Shanghai Youth Daily the date was being brought forward due to audience and exhib demands. He said it would give the pic more time to take in higher B.O. before the end of the year.

“Curse,” which will be released in Asia and in North America by Sony Pictures Classics, is China’s nomination for the foreign-language film category at the Oscars. It opened in a short run in a single theater in Beijing to qualify for the Oscars.

News that “Curse” will screen early has caused a jam in the schedules.

Four other movies are mulling pushing forward or delaying their screening dates to avoid competing with “Curse.”

Lau and Alan Mak will screen their $10 million “Confession of Pain” on Dec. 8 but said they remained confident of success as their picture was very different from “Curse.”

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