Stephen Chow's Kung-fuHustle has become the highest-grossing local film ever at the Hong Kong boxoffice, overtaking the previous record holder, Shaolin Soccer, alsostarring and directed by Chow.

As of Feb 7, the comedyblockbuster, which was backed by Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, hadgrossed $7.81m (HK$60.89m) in 47 days.In comparison Shaolin Soccer, which opened in July 2001, grossed $7.78m(HK$60.74m) in 85 days.

Columbia and its Hong Kongdistributor Edko Films went the extra mile to ensure the film broke the recordbefore this year's Chinese New Year movies flood local cinemas. In addition tolowering ticket prices to $5.1 (HK$40),limited edition VCDs of the film featuring unseen footage were given tocinema-goers buying at least two tickets.

The film, a co-productionwith China Film Group and Beijing-based Huayi Brothers, was also thetop-grossing Chinese-language film on the mainland last year and has brokenrecords in a slew of other Asian territories. It opens in its final Asian marketof Thailand tomorrow (Feb 10).