‘Night’ adds life to Hong Kong box office

Pic takes top spot over Chinese New Year

HONG KONG — Fox’s “Night at the Museum” was the most popular pic in Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year holiday.

Distributed by Fox, the Ben Stiller pic brought in more than $3.2 million on 45 screens, according to the Motion Picture Industry Assn. of Hong Kong. Figures are for between Feb. 16 and Feb. 25, when most people here have at least part of the week off work for the holiday.

As of Feb. 25, pic had been on screens for 11 days and its total box office takings totaled $4 million.

At No. 2 was local helmer Derek Yee’s drug underworld actioner “Protégé,” distributed by ARM Distribution. It was on 41 screens and took $2.25 million. Gross for 13 days was $2.8 million.

The split between foreign and local is pretty typical of Chinese New Year results with foreign films on top about 40% of the time, at least during the past five or six years, said Woody Tsung, MPIA’s chief exec.

In general, box office figures for this year’s most important holiday were “just OK,” Tsung said.

“Museum” and “Protégé” were the clear leaders, taking the bulk of the earnings.

The No. 3 film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” distributed by Golden Label, was on 34 screens and brought in $787,422.

“Twins Mission,” starring Twins pop duo Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung, was on 27 screens and took $455,000 at the box office. Pic was distributed by Sundream Motion Pictures.

Figures were “a bit lower than expected,” said Tom Cheung, VP of business development for Sundream.

Taking up spots five through nine were “Music and Lyrics” (Warner Brothers), “Open Season” (Sony Pictures Classics), “Charlotte’s Web” (Intercontinental), “Borat” (Fox) and “The Lives of Others” (Edko), respectively.

Rounding out No. 10 was China’s “Getting Home,” which brought in $9,344 over the holiday week on one screen and grossed $39,412 over 32 days. Pic is distributed by Filmko.

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