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January release for ‘Red Cliff 2’

Second installment gets release date

The second installment of John Woo’s $80 million period epic “Red Cliff” will premiere Jan. 15 in China, the first step in a tightly coordinated Asian release campaign.

The release date is more than a week ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, which falls on Jan. 26, and is intended to maximize its box office potential with holiday auds.

Pic will also open Jan. 15 in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and in South Korea, Thailand and Singapore on Jan. 22. Malaysian audiences will see the Tony Leung starrer on Jan. 23.

“Red Cliff” was financed by a pan-Asian consortium from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

The first part of “Red Cliff” was released in July, grossing $62.7 million in the same six key Asian territories. Part one was released in Japan this month and has taken $26 million to date from 2 million admissions. Japanese release of second part is set for mid-April.

Competition for audiences during the Chinese New Year season is robust, and it is unlikely that “Red Cliff” will get the holiday all to itself.

In Singapore, local crowdpleaser Jack Neo is prepping his latest Chinese-language comedy “Love Matters” to open wide Jan. 22, while in Hong Kong “Red Cliff” will battle it out with the latest star-studded entry to the comedy franchise “All’s Well End’s Well.” Production company Mandarin Films is targeting a Jan. 22 release in Hong Kong for the laffer.

“We don’t see any problems (with competition) because the films target different subject matter,” said Christy Choi, assistant distribution manager of Mandarin Films.

“Red Cliff” is distributed in Hong Kong by Mei Ah in collaboration with Edko Films.

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