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‘Kung Fu’ hustles Asia

Pic breaks B.O. records in Singapore, Taiwan

SINGAPORE — Sony’s “Kung Fu Hustle” is hustling its way across Asia — breaking B.O. records in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“Kung Fu Hustle” earned $252,000 on its opening day, Dec. 23, the biggest opener for a Chinese film in Singapore. The weekend gross was more than $1 million, a record for a Chinese film in Singapore, beating “Shaolin Soccer’s” entire cume on the island state.

The pic is the much-anticipated follow-up to cult hit “Shaolin Soccer,” which broke box office records across the region in 2001, becoming Hong Kong’s highest grossing action comedy.

In Hong Kong, “Kung Fu Hustle” broke opening-day B.O. record with $67,000 on Dec. 24, hitting $1.2 million on Christmas Day.

“Kung Fu Hustle” also set an opening day record in Taiwan, with $300,000 on Christmas Eve.

Helmer/writer Stephen Chow also stars as small-time thief, Sing, who aspires to be one of the notorious Axe Gang. His comical attempts to become a gangster are thwarted when he inadvertently unleashes a clash of the kung-fu titans.

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“Kung Fu Hustle” is produced by Chow’s The Star Overseas shingle with mainland China co-production partners China Film Group’s Fourth Production Company and Huayi Brothers & Taihe Film Investment.

China Film is distributing the film locally and Sony Pictures Intl. distributes in the rest of the world.