The Promise, Chen Kaige's gorgeous fantasy epic (remember the trailer?) and also China's official Oscar entry, easily broke the Chinese opening weekend records when it was released last week. The film's four-day total of £5.2 million outdistanced the previous record (set by Kung-Fu Hustle) by almost a full £1 million, and the first week total is also expected to set a record.

The film, which took nearly three years to shoot is, with its cost of £24 million, the most expensive Chinese film ever made. It is one of the nominees for the best foreign film Golden Globe Award, and must be considered one of the films with a legitimate shot at an Oscar nom as well, if only because of the status of its director. Unfortunately, the US release is currently slated for some vague time next spring (by which point a region 0 DVD will be widely available), so we won't know for month and months if it actually deserves any of this regard.