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Pic price-cut plan backfires

Mess blamed on last-minute change of heart by distribs

HONG KONG — The two biggest cinema chains’ plans to cut prices two days a week to combat the post-Chinese New Year slump have gone awry.

When film fans turned up at UA and Broadway cinemas on Tuesday and Wednesday this week they found they had to pay the regular $9.20 for the most popular films: “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Marry a Rich Man,” “Bandits” and “Fat Choi Spirit.” Others had been cut to $3.20.

The mess was blamed on a last-minute change of heart by film distributors, who worried that the 66% discounts would hurt their bottom lines. Distribs for “Fat Choi Spirit” reached an agreement with the cinema chains Thursday, but others have yet to follow suit.