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'Titanic 3-D' first movie released in Myanmar in decades

August 13, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • "Titanic 3-D" will be the first American movie released in Myanmar in decades.
"Titanic 3-D" will be the first American movie released in Myanmar… (Merie Weismiller Wallace )

"Titanic 3-D" will be the first movie to play in Myanmar in more than a decade as 20th Century Fox has struck a deal to release the film in the Southeast Asian nation that is slowly opening to the world.

Fox said Monday that it has struck a deal with Mingalar Co., a local importer that operates eight single-screen theaters, to open "Titanic 3-D" on Aug. 17 in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

While it's not clear exactly when the last American movie was seen in Myanmar, Fox said in a statement the wait has been "decades."

Beginning with an election in 2010 that allowed long-jailed dissident Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party to compete, Myanmar has embarked on a series of reforms to move away from a closed-off military dictatorship and toward a liberal democracy with a mixed economy.

"Titanic 3-D" has been a huge hit overseas, grossing $287 million since its April release. Myanmar neighbor China has been by far the most lucrative market, generating a phenomenal $146 million, more than half the international total.

"Titanic" has never before been seen in Myanmar, as the country was closed to foreign films when the Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet love story set on the infamous ship was originally released in 1997.

"Twentieth Century Fox International is proud to be a pioneer in entering emerging markets and working with local businesses to further develop these endeavors," said the studio's international co-presidents, Tomas Jegeus and Paul Hanneman, in a statement. "We have noted with great interest the reforms taking place in Burma under [President] Thein Sein and look forward to visiting our newest territory when we travel [to] Asia later this year."

Fox handles overseas releasing for the film, which it co-produced with Paramount Pictures.

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