Horror picture TheHeirloom has racked up the biggest opening for a local film in Taiwan this year, grossing $105,500 (NT$3.49m) over thethree-day weekend (Sept 16-18) in Taipei.

Directed by newcomer LesteChen, the film was released by Buena Vista on 12 screens in Taipei and 50 nationwide. It came second in the Taipei chart behind US opener The Cave and beat out several otheropeners including Warner Bros' Must Love Dogs and Korean horror flick TheRed Shoes.

It also achieved the biggestopening for a local film since the Sony-backed thriller Double Visionopened on 60 screens in 2002.

The film is the secondproduction from vibrant production house Three Dots Entertainment following gayteen comedy Formula 17 which was a surprise hit in 2004.

"We are very happy that Taiwan films can now compete with Hollywood product," said Three Dots co-founder Michelle Yeh. "It's a long processtowards regaining market share, but we believe that if the current productionoutput continues, Taiwan cinema has hope."

Taiwan is currently experiencing an upswing in local production with more thanthirty features scheduled for completion this year, up from just ten in 2003. ThreeDots recently completed The Shoe Fairy, a project in the Focus: FirstCuts series which debuts in competition next month at Pusan. The company is now shooting its fourth feature,action comedy Catch, which reunites Formula 17 director and starDJ Chen and Tony Yang.

The Heirloom tells the story of a young couple who inherit ahouse with a dark past. Three Dots has sold the film widely in Asia to territories including Japan (Happinet Pictures), Hong Kong (Edko Films), Thailand (Sahamongkol), Korea (Tube Entertainment) and Singapore/Malaysia(Festival Films).