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'Monga' beats 'Avatar' on first-day gross

2010/02/08 22:00:23

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) Much to the jubilation of domesticfilmmakers, the Taiwan-produced crime movie "Monga" grossed more atthe box office on its first day Friday than the Hollywood blockbuster"Avatar," market sources said Monday.

According to the latest statistics, "Monga, " a youth gang filmset in Taipei's Wanhua district in the 1980s, has grossed more thanNT$59.32 million (US$1.85 million) since it premiered in Taiwan Feb.5. Its first day box office was NT$8.31 million, outshining"Avatar's" first-day receipts of NT$6.97 million.

On Sunday alone, "Monga" grossed more than NT$20 million aroundTaiwan, according to the film's producer Lee Lieh.

The film has not only scored box-office success but also woncritical acclaim for its interesting storyline and its cast's vividportrayal of its leading characters.

Despite its relatively low budget, the film is expected to emergeas another box-office hit and replicate the success of Cape No. 7,which became Taiwan's most popular Mandarin film in 2008.

Industry insiders said they hope "Monga" can inject new vitalityinto Taiwan's movie industry, which has been on the decline foryears.

Meanwhile, Avatar's box-office gross broke NT$800 million thispast weekend to replace James Cameron's another megahit "Titanic" asthe highest grossing film of all time in Taiwan.

Avatar had already become the world's best selling film ever withUS$2.21 billion in worldwide box office receipts, exceeding Titanic'stake of US$1.835 billion.

(By Angelea Tsai and Sofia Wu)