Bruce Lee film no match for the Hollywood heavyweights

Bruce Lee may still be an icon throughout China but that didn't help the latest biopic about the martial arts star which has been over the past week swamped by Hollywood blockbusters at the box office here.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 picked up 84 million yuan (9.6 million euros) over the past week in China, followed by Resident Evil: Afterlife with 46 million yuan (5.2 million euros).

In total, that's a collective 165 million yuan (18.7 million euros) and 114.5 million yuan (13 million euros) respectively since the two films opened just over two weeks ago.

Hong Kong-based filmmakers Raymond Yip and Manfred Wong had hoped Bruce Lee, My Brother - released last week on the 70th anniversary of Bruce Lee's birth - would steal some of the limelight away from the Hollywood productions but that hasn't been the case.

The film - which charts the years before the martial artist became an international superstar - picked up just 8.5 million yuan (967,600 euros) in its first four days of release, to November 28.

Two more Chinese productions are now preparing to enter the box office fray with the Kevin Chu-directed comedy Just Call Me Nobody set for release on Friday, December 3 and the Chen Kaige-directed drama Sacrifice set to open on Saturday, December 4.

Interestingly, the field is apparently too hot for mainland Chinese director Wuershan's The Butcher, the Chef and the Swordsman, which was set to open on November 25 but will now hit screens at an unspecified date in 2011.

In Japan, meanwhile, the latest installment of the Harry Potter franchise again ruled the roost, picking up US$7.6 million (5.8 million euros) to take its two-week total to US$36 million (27.2 million euros).

Bruce Lee, My Brother had some joy in Hong Kong, however, picking up US$243,760 (184,881 euros) to top the charts, while in South Korea it was the aliens-invade-LA flick Skyline that was the week's best-earner with US$3.5 million (2.7 million euros).

See the trailers (without subtitles) of the films due out this weekend:

Just Call Me Nobody: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZBa3YVVvGg

Sacrifice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN_sWxbxGSQ

MS

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