Zhang Yimou's Curse Of The Golden Flower grossed$12.3m (RMB96m) on its four-day opening weekend in mainland China, breaking the record for the opening of a domesticfilm.

The film opened on Thursday,Dec 14 on 826 prints, jointly distributed by Hong Kong-based Edko Films, ChinaFilm Group and Beijing New Picture Films.The number of film prints also broke the record for film releases in China.

Before Golden Flower, the highest first weekend gross for a local film wasset by Chen Kaige's 2005 film The Promise,which took $9.6m (RMB75m) from 600 prints. Prior to that, Stephen Chow's Kung-fu Hustle raked in $8.1m (RMB63.4m) on its opening weekend, Zhang Yimou's 2004 House Of Flying Daggers grossed $7.8m(RMB61m), Feng Xiaogang's The Banquet took $6.8m (RMB53.3m) and Hero,also directed by Zhang, made $6.7m (RMB52.4m).

Sony Pictures Classics willgive Curse Of The Golden Flower aplatform release in New York, Los Angeles and select US cities starting this weekend and willopen the film nationwide in January.

The film will also open in South-East Asia, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, this weekend. Edko last week announced that thefilm's Korean release, which is scheduled for Jan 25, will be jointly handledby Beijing-based Zonbo Media and CJ Entertainment.

Produced by Beijing NewPicture Films and Edko Films, the $45 million period drama stars Gong Li, ChowYun-fat and Taiwanese pop singer Jay Chou. Set during the Tang dynasty, ittells the story of a power struggle within the royal family and a coup in theimperial chamber.