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Tuesday, 20 March, 2001, 12:46 GMT
Crouching Tiger leaps $100m barrier
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger is nominated for 10 Oscars
Oscar-nominated Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has become the first foreign-language film to make more than $100m (69.9m) at the US box office.

Weekend takings of $4m (2.7m) took the Chinese-language film's total ticket sales to $100.3m.

Directed by Taiwanese film-maker Ang Lee, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a martial arts fantasy set in the 19th Century.

Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The martial arts fantasy has caught filmgoers' imaginations

After 101 days on release, the film - up for 10 Oscars - broke the previous US box office record of $57.6m (40.2m) set by Italian movie Life is Beautiful.

Sony Pictures Classics, who distributed the movie, said it hoped its achievement would set a new precedent.

"Hopefully, this level of success will help open the door, however slight, to the future accessibility of foreign film," said a Sony spokesman.

Asian roots

Meanwhile, Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh - one of the film's stars - has said she won't be lured away from Asia despite her now high profile in Hollywood.

"I believe there are so many tales to be told from our side, around our region, up in China and locations that we know better and stories that we can tell better," she said.

Crouching Tiger star Michell Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh: Staying put

"I would not think that I would pack up my bags and go over there."

Yeoh's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon co-star Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo, director of Mission: Impossible 2, are just two stars of the Chinese film industry who have moved to Hollywood.

Yeoh has herself co-starred in the James Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies. But her future career commitments lie in her homeland.

She has signed to star in a prequel of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Yeoh is also producing a film of her own, a romantic action adventure to be shot in Shanghai, Xian and the Himalayas.

"If you talk about Morocco or Venice, they are too accessible as a tourist," she said, adding: "But to go into China, it's a commitment."

See also:

17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Tiger's runaway success
05 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Crouching Tiger star has it licked
05 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Ang Lee's Tiger roars on
29 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Tiger is UK's biggest foreign film
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