Hit 3-D erotic comedy to screen in North America

HONG KONG (AP) — A hit Hong Kong 3-D erotic comedy that has wowed viewers in Asia has secured U.S. and Canadian distribution, as the pioneering film’s international rollout gains momentum.

China Lion Film Distribution said in a statement Wednesday that it bought the North American rights to “3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy” at the film market at the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival.

The company, a Chinese-New Zealand joint venture that specializes in releasing Chinese films in the U.S. and Canada, said it was still deciding on the date and size of the release.

“Sex and Zen,” a remake of a 1991 Hong Kong movie by the same name, follows a sexually frustrated Chinese scholar who loses his way in the harem of a duke he befriends. The morality tale stars Japanese porn stars Hara Saori and Suo Yukiko and Hong Kong actress Vonnie Liu.

The $3.5 million Cantonese-language production got off to a roaring start when it debuted in Hong Kong on April 14, beating the opening-day box office record previously held by the James Cameron 3-D sci-fi epic “Avatar” with a first-day take of $360,000, and went on to post strong results in Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

In Hong Kong, its latest gross was $4.9 million as of Wednesday, making it the southern Chinese territory’s most popular release so far this year, publicist Carmen Wong said Thursday.

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