'Heart,' 'Goemon' open Thursday

Chinese public holidays have become key dates in the booming biz’s annual calender, and a total of 14 films will be released in China for the Qingming Grave Sweeping festival, which starts this week.

Hong Kong helmer Johnnie To’s first romantic comedy since 2008, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” which features Gao Yuanyuan, Terence Yin, Daniel Wu and Louis Koo, opens today, as does the Japanese historical fantasy film “Goemon,” written and helmed by Kazuaki Kiriya.

The Chinese biz took $1.5 billion last year, with growth built on the increasing number of screens in the territory. The country’s main holiday periods, including Chinese New Year, Qingming and the October holiday, are key times for movies to make big inroads into the B.O. take.

Friday sees the release of “The Underdog Knight 2,” helmed by Ding Sheng and featuring Liu Ye, Zhang Zilin, Liu Hailong, Yoo Seung Jun, Jiao Enjun and Dong Meixu. Also opening is “Red” and “Mr. Zhai.”

The weekend sees the release of Xu Bin’s “The Frightening Night,” “Jia Tian Xia,” “Stand By Me” and “Choy Lee Fut.” The period immediately after the fest, when Chinese people traditionally sweep the graves of their ancestors, will see the release of five movies, including the Zhao Tienyu helmed “The Law of Attraction,” which brings together many stars from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, such as Karen Mok, Leon Dai, Zhang Jingchu, Guo Tao and Bai Baihe. Also up for release then are “Once Upon A Time in Tibet,” “Mr. and Mrs. Single,” “Deadly Will” and “Rio.”

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