Early China bow for ‘Mummy’

Sequel will open in U.S. one week later

Speaking as shooting wraps in Shanghai, helmer Rob Cohen says he expects the latest installment in Universal’s “The Mummy” franchise to bow in Beijing on July 24 — a week ahead of its U.S. release.

Hollywood pics normally open in China long after their Stateside release but occasionally go day-and-date.

At Monday’s wrap party, Cohen unspooled a five-minute trailer for “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” which is due to go to the U.S. for post-production.

Stars Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, John Hannah and Isabella Leong came to the party still in costume, but the movie’s local thesps, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh, were no-shows.

Pic has a largely Chinese crew — just 180 out of 2,200 people are non-Chinese, Cohen said.

Movie’s preoccupation with Chinese history and culture, and its setting in ancient Xi’an, will certainly woo auds in China.

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