Ang Lee's Lust, Caution grossed more than $5.36m (RMB40m) in its first four days (Nov 1-4) in mainland China, marking the biggest opening for a Chinese-language film so far this year.

The film's total gross up until today of $6.7m (RMB50m) also makes it the biggest Chinese-language film so far in 2007. Cinema owners in Beijing and Shanghai are predicting that the total gross will easily reach the $13m (RMB100m) benchmark.

Lust, Caution was released last Thursday (Nov 1) on 400 film prints plus 200 digital screens, which is the largest release in November. The mainland China release is 12 minutes shorter than the 157-minute original version, cutting two erotic scenes and some explicit shots.

The release date was postponed twice but the delays don't seem to have diminished the Chinese audience's desire to see the film.

Joint distributors Edko Films and China Film Group made a huge effort to prevent pirated full-version DVDs from entering the mainland China market. Although pirated discs have been seen in Beijing and Shanghai over the weekend, the quality was poor and the picture was apparently shot inside the movie theatres.

Because of the sweeping success of Lust, Caution, the mainland release date of 20th Century Fox's Live Free Or Die Hard will be postponed from Nov 9 to Nov 15, the same time slot as The Bourne Ultimatum.

Beijing-based cinema circuit New Film Association also confirmed that the print number of the two action blockbusters would be slightly cut down, because most cinemas are still focusing on Lust, Caution.