Infernal Affairs II, the prequel to Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's hit crime thriller Infernal Affairs, shattered box office records on its opening night in Hong Kong grossing US$427,000 (HK$3.9m) and easily outpacing the opening figures for the original film.

The Media Asia production received its world premiere at the Hong Kong FilMart last week and rolled out on 68 screens on October 1 - a public holiday in Hong Kong. Its opening figures make it the biggest opener of 2003 and the biggest October release in Hong Kong film history. In addition, sneak previews at 7pm, 9pm and midnight on September 30 grossed US$168,000, giving the film a two-day total of US$672,000.

The first Infernal Affairs movie opened December 12, 2002 and grossed US$332,000 on its opening night. It went on to become the highest grossing film of the year with an impressive tally of US$7m.

Infernal Affairs II sets up the events of the original film about a triad's mole in the police force vying with an undercover cop in the triads. Hong Kong idols Edison Chen and Shawn Yue play the younger versions of the two main characters - played by Andy Lau and Tony Leung Chiu-wai in the original. Anthony Wong and Eric Tsang reprise their roles as hardboiled cop and triad boss respectively. Francis Ng, Carina Lau and Hu Jun also star.

A third Infernal Affairs film is currently in production and is scheduled for release in December.