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 Friday, 3 January, 2003, 18:07 GMT
Hong Kong film industry suffers slump
Extras dressed as warriors sit through a press conference about Chinese director Zhang Yimou's epic, Hero
Hero is China's entry for the best foreign film Oscar
Hong Kong's film industry suffered a sharp slump of 17%, and an even bigger decrease in profits from home-produced movies in 2002.

The industry saw a revival towards the end of the year but it was too late to bolster the end-of-year figures, Screen Daily reported.

Total box office receipts were HK$862.6 (68.7m), compared to HK$1.04bn (82.9m) the previous year.

Only 92 Hong Kong films were produced - 67 on film and 25 on digital video - down from 133 in 2001.

Foreign films accounted for 60% of Hong Kong's total box office takings, leading profits from local films to drop by 24%.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was the top performing foreign film, taking HK$29.2m (2.3m), and is still going strong.

Harry Potter
Harry Potter was the highest grossing foreign film

But it was the home-grown thriller Infernal Affairs which emerged victorious, taking the most money during 2002, figures from the Motion Picture Industry Association show.

It took HK$53.7m (4.2m) between 12 and 30 December, and is still being shown on 42 screens.

Poor show

And the joint Hong Kong-China production Hero is showing signs of a good box office performance, taking HK$20.7m (1.6m) since its release two weeks ago.

Directed by Zhang Yimou, the HK$240m (19m) blockbuster has been put forward as China's entry for the Oscar's best foreign film category.

Other locally produced films which scored well during the year included Marry a Rich Man, which was the seventh most popular film of the year, while My Left Eye Sees Ghost came in at number nine.

But the country also boasts one of the poorest performing films of all time, seen by only 10 viewers during its one week run.

The South China Post reports that Psychedelic Cop took just HK$327 (26) when it was shown on one screen.

See also:

07 Jan 02 | Entertainment
27 Nov 01 | Entertainment
31 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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