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‘Lost In Hong Kong’ to Open U.K. Market for Asia Releasing (EXCLUSIVE)

Los Angeles-based Asia Releasing will next month distribute highly anticipated Chinese comedy thriller “Lost In Hong Kong” as the first title for its new U.K. theatrical releasing operation.

The title, directed by and starring Xu Zheng, is a follow up to “Lost In Thailand,” the late 2011 hit that redefined Chinese movie-making and grossed $208 million. Vicky Zhao Wei also stars.

Asia Releasing will give it a release synchronized with its Chinese outing, on Sept. 25. The company will handle bookings itself. “We intend releasing ‘day and date’ with China – another first for the U.K.,” said Asia Releasing CEO, Milt Barlow.

The company aims to release 10-15 pictures a year in North America, Australia and New Zealand. In the first year for the U.K. it will release three or four. Home entertainment and ancillary rights will be handled on an ad hoc basis.

The picture is sold by China’s Enlight Pictures and rights in the Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. are held by Magnum Films, with which Asia Releasing works closely. (North American rights to “Lost in Hong Kong” were acquired by WellGo USA.)

“Whilst the UK Chinese market is smaller than our markets in North America and Australia it is growing quite rapidly and it is now the home to the largest group of Chinese students in Europe. I look forward to expanding this market in much the same way as I did by reintroducing Chinese pictures theatrically into the North American market in 2010 with China Lion,” said Barlow, who also previously founded China Lion.

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Asia Releasing recently handled the North American release of another Chinese hit “Pancake Man,” with which it has grossed $650,000, from 15 screens.

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