Latest 'Pirates' sales exceed "Spiderman's" in China

Despite some filmgoers said censors' cuts of Chow Yun-Fat's role made "Pirates" difficult to follow, opening-week sales of "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" in China have surpassed those of "Spiderman 3".

Censors cut scenes of Chow as a bald, scarred pirate, saying the images insulted China's people, Xinhua News Agency said.

But that did not stop the film from earning nearly 80 million yuan (US$10.4 million; EUR7.76 million) in China in its first week since its release on June 12, the agency said.

That was 10 million yuan (US$1.3 million, EUR970,000) more than "Spiderman 3" earned in its first week.

"The box office opens at 10 a.m. but people are lining up for tickets as early as 9 a.m.," the report quoted a Beijing cinema manager, identified by the surname Yuan, as saying.

Xinhua said Chow's time on the screen had "been slashed in half by censors in China for vilifying and defacing the Chinese."

The version of the Hollywood blockbuster released in China shows only about 10 minutes of the Hong Kong actor's scenes - as Captain Sao Feng, the pirate lord of the South China Sea - compared with 20 minutes in the version seen in the rest of the world, the report said.

"Spiderman 3," released May 2, has earned more than 100 million yuan (US$12.99 million; EUR9.7 million), topping China's movie box office takes so far this year.