The blockbuster film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, set to open in Hong Kong before Christmas, will struggle to smash box- office records here, film critics say. The movie, which has broken opening records in New York and London, will premiere in the SAR on December 11 and open in cinemas on December 20. It tells the story of an orphan wizard and will be one of about 10 major releases being shown locally during the Christmas holidays. Woody Tsung Wan-chi, chief executive of the Motion Picture Industry Association, said he believed Harry Potter would win the hearts of a diverse audience in view of its huge popularity overseas. 'The film is likely to be a big hit in Hong Kong. The story will capture both locals and expatriates of all ages just as in the US and Britain,' he said. But he was reserved on whether the film would be the huge success it has been in the West. 'It may not be able to break any records in Hong Kong because our Harry Potter craze is a far cry from the West's,' Mr Tsung said. Film critic Paul Fonoroff shared his view. 'The box office depends on how popular the Harry Potter books [on which the film is based] are. Compared to the US, I think it may not be a record-breaking hit.' Mr Tsung said competition from two other children's films released this month could also undermine the movie's power at the box office. Japanese animated film Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, will open in mid-December. Another is the local production My Life as McDull, which features a popular cartoon pig character. Mr Tsung said children would like both movies, given their fondness for Japanese culture and the pig character's popularity. Other major films to be released this month include foreign hits Vanilla Sky, Training Day and The Hole. Local productions include 2002, featuring pop singer Nicholas Tse Ting-fung, and Let's Sing Along, with award-winning actress Anita Mui. Hong Kong cinemas took nearly $79 million from 51 films shown between December 15 and 31 last year, according to the Motion Picture Industry Association. Mr Tsung said he believed box office takings this year would be slightly better.