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‘Lust’ seduces Asian box office

Figures strong despite running time

Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” got off to a racy start at the Hong Kong and Taiwanese box offices.

In Hong Kong, the pic seduced spectators to the tune of HK$3.5 million ($450,000) on its Wednesday opening, a figure that includes $142,000 of sneak previews on Tuesday. Distrib Edko Films says the figures are an all-time opening day record in September.

Pic was given a wide release by Edko timed to coincide with the mid-fall public holiday. It went out on 60 prints at 35 venues.

Figures are strong, considering the 150-minute running time and that the pic carries a Category III rating, limiting it to auds over the age of 18.

Early indications are that “Lust” may have good legs. Afternoon screenings on Thursday were good enough to put the day on course for a $129,000 take. Audrey Lee, Edko’s GM of sales and acquisition, said company is now forecasting a take of $1.93 million to $2.31 million for the five-day week (including sneaks) to Monday.

In Lee’s birthplace of Taiwan, where “Lust” had its official opening on Tuesday, pic frolicked to NT35 million ($1.07 million) in two days. Edko says figures are the biggest ever for a Tuesday in September.

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