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End-of-world flick '2012' has big first weekend

THE US$200 million Hollywood disaster film "2012" by Roland Emmerich has proved a hit at the Shanghai box office over its opening weekend.

Shanghai United Cinema Lines, the city's leading cinema chain, has already taken more than 9 million yuan (US$1.33 million) since its worldwide release on Friday. Globally it has grossed US$225 million.

"Among all the foreign films shown this year, the robust beginning of '2012' is second only to that of 'Transformers 2,' which earned about 15 million yuan in ticket sales during its opening weekend," said Wu Hehu, deputy director of the chain.

So far, Yonghua Cinema has sold about 670,000 yuan worth of tickets from the end-of-the-world film.

"In the film the transport to rescue the human race to safety is made in China," said Liu Bo, manager of the cinema. "The film's rich Chinese elements and scenes, particularly those in its ending part are well received by local movie buffs."

According to movie buff Kevin Fan, an IT worker, the film has reached a new height of the disaster film genre for its visual effects.

"Compared with his former credits 'Independence Day' and 'The Day After Tomorrow,' director Emmerich has applied almost all the shooting and special effects means to depict the world-ending scenes," said Fan.

Local industry insiders noted that the film would have at least a month-long popularity due to its dazzling stunts and an attractive story line, though it would also face competition from "District 9," a sci-fi/aliens film to have its Chinese premiere on November 27 and Chinese martial arts comedy "The Robbers."

"The Robbers" which tells the story of two bandits' incredible adventures in a seemingly peaceful Bitter Bamboo Village will be released on Friday.


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