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Archive for the ‘Box Office Results’ Category

Box Office News and Numbers: July 20th, 2009


Johnnie To’s VENGEANCE is indeed hitting the screens in Hong Kong on August 20th.  For more information, you can check out the official English-language website at:

In answer to the question by EverSoFine from Coming Soon: Release Dates for Upcoming HK Movies about availability in the United States, it’s impossible to say when foreign films will get a theatrical release in the United States.  Sometimes, they are released within weeks.  Other times, it may take years for a foreign film to reach American shores.  It all depends on distribution deals and so forth.

Most times, the DVD of a Hong Kong film should be easily available to people in North America at a local Chinese video store or an online merchant like YesAsia.  Generally speaking, you can get your hands on the HK DVD of a film within a couple of months of the HK theatrical release.


Bad word of mouth didn’t stop MURDERER in its tracks because, as of July 16th, it has made HK$7.68 million (33 screens, 9 days in theatres).  WRITTEN BY, the new Wai Ka-Fai/Lau Ching-Wan effort, has taken in HK$2.59 million (20 screens, 9 days).   On its way out, appearing on only a handful of screens, SHORT OF LOVE has earned HK$3.76 million from 21 days in theatres.

As it was everywhere else it was released, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE was the top-grossing release in HK last week.

News and Notes: Fête Nationale 2009

Joyeuese Fête Nationale à tout le monde!

Or is it Joyeux Fête Nationale?  Also, do I need the à or can I just go with “Joyeuese Fête Nationale tout le monde!”  Apologies to all of the francophone readers out there, it’s been a long time since I took high school French and even longer since I watched late-night movies on CBC French.  Hey, when you’re a 13 year-old boy, Fanny Ardant films can be quite, uh, intriguing even if you can barely understand what’s going on.  These days, of course, I’m sure 13 year-old boys have the ability to cast a wider net when it comes to that sort of thing.  Back in my day, the Sea of Titillation was not as vast and definitely not as bountiful.

What was I saying before I got distracted by remembrances of things past?  Oh right, Joyeuese Fête Nationale or, for the rest of us non-francophones, Happy Bastille Day!  On this day, 220 years ago, the French people stormed the Bastille and kick-started the process of turning France from a monarchy to a republic.

Let’s celebrate with some box office news and a few links.  But first, congratulations Kelly Chen:


Simon Abrams interviews WRITTEN BY director Wai Ka-Fai

Electric New Paper on Michael Hui Kwoon-Man: ‘It’s like your chicken rice’

Carol “DoDo” Cheng Yu-Ling: Too much plastic surgery


Chan Ho-Nam and Chicken together again, sort of:  ‘Affairs’ team to become ‘Gangsters’

Stephen Chow:

Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith start filming ‘Kid’


A Tale Of Two Tonys: The National (Abu Dhabi) on Tony Leung Chiu-Wai

My cousin Tony breaks his arm:


Gigi Leung to wed?

RELATED: Xinhua article featuring photo of Gigi Leung with her man

Zhang Ziyi:


Stef’s head-over (clumsy)-heels in love

Stef Sun, Singapore’s Anita Mui

A more confident and self-assured Stefanie Sun returns to S’pore

Sun’s comeback concert

Stefanie Sun wows fans

Shiny style, subdued Sun


Ang Lee Heading To Lincoln Center

Asian Film Fireworks for the Fourth: Richard Corliss on the New York Asian Film Festival


Weekend box office figures aren’t available yet but here are the numbers from Friday:

MURDERER, 36 screens, 2 days, HK$1.01 million total

WRITTEN BY, 32 screens, 2 days, HK$301,000 total

SHORT OF LOVE, 14 screens, 15 days, HK$3.62 million total

MURDERER is off to a fast start but it should fizzle out quickly as it’s getting killed here on LoveHKFilm (Kozo’s review, The Golden Rock blog post) and on Chinese-language discussion boards.  I’m always dispirited when I hear that a highly-hyped film looks like it’s a dud.  I believe that it’s these types of films that are killing the industry more than anything else as the casual HK film fan who only sees a handful of movies a year will pick up on the hype, watch the movie then have the notion that “HK films suck” reinforced in their minds.

In other box office news, reader Mark Shaver wrote in to report that Johnnie To’s VENGEANCE is hitting Hong Kong screens on August 20th.  It hasn’t popped up yet in the “Coming Soon” sections of various movie ticket buying sites but I’m sure it’ll show up in the near future.  In the meantime, you can console yourself with the news that THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON is coming to Hong Kong on December 17th, 2009 — just in time for the holidays!


Finally watched the Michael Jackson Memorial (hey, with my need for ten hours of beauty sleep and my two-hour, three-martini lunches, I can only devote 12 hours a day to watching TV).   A few thoughts:

  • You’d have to have a very cynical mind and a very cold heart to think that the Paris Jackson speech was staged to launch a show business career.
  • It’s normal to heap praise on someone upon their death but I think it went a little too far with the King of Pop.  The notion that without Michael Jackson, there would be no Tiger Woods, no Oprah Winfrey and no Barack Obama is giving Michael Jackson way too much credit.  I think Tiger’s skill has more to do with Tiger being a global icon than Michael Jackson paving the way.  I think Oprah Winfrey’s drive has more to do with her success than Michael Jackson and I think Barack Obama’s vision and ambition had more to do with his becoming President of the United States than Michael Jackson making “blacks” acceptable in the eyes of “whites”.
  • It could be because I’m a big sports fan but when anyone says MJ to me, my first thought is always Michael Jordan not Michael Jackson.
  • Ten to fifteen years from now — if I have the good fortune to find a lovely bride or if I finally save enough for a mail-order bride — when my kid asks me why people thought Michael Jackson was an all-time great, I think I’ll answer by playing “I Want You Back”.  Even now, forty-years after the song became a hit, it’s hard to believe that a ten year-old gave that performance.

The Teahouse: June 3rd, 2009

A reader interaction post today as I respond to some of the comments left on the blog.  But first, some box office numbers:

Like theatres here in North America, theatres in Hong Kong are jammed with the likes of ANGELS & DEMONS, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 2 and TERMINATOR: SALVATION leaving little room for Asian films.  Here is the top ten in Hong Kong from this past weekend:

  4. ASHES OF TIME REDUX, 26 screens, 4 days, $850,028 to date
  6. CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH, 9 screens, 25 days, HK$3.74 million to date
  7. 17 AGAIN
  9. NIGHT AND FOG, 1 screen, 18 days, HK$1.15 million to date

I CORRUPT ALL COPS and TRAIL OF THE PANDA have concluded their theatrical runs.  They finished with takes of HK$5.34 milion and HK$1.42 million respectively.

* * * * *

Before we get to reader comments, a few words about the Edison Chen comeback:

It’s clear with his CNN interview and WestEast magazine cover that Edison Chen is on the comeback trail.  He wasn’t “forced” to come back to HK, he chose to come back.  If you don’t want to see him darken the door of the entertainment circle, don’t attack him for “breaking his word” about retiring.  After all, you’d be the foolish one if you took a man of his deeds at his word.  Look at where taking Edison Chen at his word left Cecilia Cheung and Gillian Chung …

If you want him out of the entertainment circle, here’s what you do:

  • Don’t watch his CNN interview.
  • Don’t buy any magazines with him on the cover.
  • Don’t buy anything from his clothing line.
  • Don’t buy his albums.
  • Don’t go to his movies.
  • Don’t support any projects that has a connection to him.

If enough people did that, you’d be surprised how quickly he disappears from the entertainment circle.  However, if the hits for the SNIPER review here on LoveHKFilm are any indication, there’s still some juice left in EDC so maybe he’ll be with us for a while yet.  By all logic and reason, his career should be dead as a doornail but, as Teddy KGB would say, here he is “hanging around, hang-ing around … can’t get rid of him.”

John Malkovich as Teddy KGB in ROUNDERS

Related Link: CNN EXCLUSIVE: Edison Chen breaks his silence

More EDC:

On to your comments …

From the comments on Production News: Sammi vs Miriam Lunar New Year 2010:

glenn writes:  When I first heard this news, I was quite excited. Now I’m wondering if the acting styles of these two ladies may not mesh completely.

Yes, the betting line for the Kozo Entertainment Group’s illegal but high-class Tsimshatsui gambling den pegs this movie as having a 50% chance of sucking and a 50% of being good.  It was set at 80% suck and 20% good but Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai are involved so the odds of it being good have gone up considerably.

I’m with you Glenn, I don’t know what the chemistry is going to be like between the original Mrs. Kozo and Miriam Yeung.  The papers are already filled with stories about how Sammi hates Miriam and Miriam hates Sammi and how Andy is feuding with Leon and Leon is feuding with Andy.  If Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai are smart, I think they would run parallel story lines where the two main couples interact only briefly … sort of like the first De Niro-Pacino collaboration HEAT.

I think I’ve seen enough of these highly-anticipated collaborations (THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, RIGHTEOUS KILL, ALIEN VS PREDATOR … DEBBIE DOES JENNA …) to know that they never live up to expectations.  I’m going in with an attitude of: “hey, it’s Lunar New Year, all I want from the movie is for it to be light, breezy and fun.  What I don’t want is for it to turn out to be one of those soulless commercial enterprises where everyone is just going through the motions.”

From the comments on News and Notes: May 14th, 2009:

Bunta Sugawara writes:  Any idea when Vengeance is released in HK? (I’m doing some mental arithmetic to work out when I’m likely to get my grubby paws on a DVD release of it - it sounds great).

I haven’t been able to find a definite date.  Articles that popped up last year covering the news conference announcing the project had a Summer 2010 HK release pegged but nothing specific was reported.  Here’s the link to the official English-language website for VENGEANCE, when there’s a fixed date, I’m sure it’ll be listed there:

From the comments on News Links: Memorial Day 2009:

Dave Leong writes:  Did you watch end up watching American Masters last night?

Nope, I haven’t watched AMERICAN MASTERS: HOLLYWOOD CHINESE yet.  I have recorded it though.  I’m a huge sports fan so my nights have been filled with both NBA and NHL playoffs.  Plus, the UEFA Champions League Final was on the same day as the documentary.  I’ll get to it someday because it sounds very interesting.

Will writes:  Why aren’t you on Twitter?

I’m not on Twitter because I sold my soul to the Kozo Entertainment Group and can’t write for any other media.  Me and Charlene Choi, caged birds for our respective media conglomerates …

Just kidding, I’m not on Twitter because it seems like a fad that’s destined to go the way of Cabbage Patch Kids, Tamagotchi … Twins.

Plus, I’m a blowhard so I can’t limit myself to just 140 characters.

… And, as always, I’m a lazy, lazy man.

Audrey writes:  I’m happy Kozo still keeps lovehkfilm going even though he rubs elbows with Nick Cheung and Karena Lam. 

LoveHKFilm may still be going strong but Kozo’s definitely changed now that he’s hanging out with the cool kids.  He’s become insufferable.  He’s affected a Madonna-like faux British accent going on about how I need to use “my loaf” and how he has to go up the “apples and pears” to get away from his new “trouble and strife”.  It’s sickening … sickening I tell ya.

I’m just kidding.  Kozo is one of the sweetest guys you’ll ever have the good fortune to meet.  We kid because we love.  Speaking of which …

From the comments on News Links: May 30th, 2009:

langong writes:  Are you sure it was the photo of S and not “K” you were compiling posts in front of? 

You caught me, you caught me.  I confess that I’m compiling posts in front of a photo of Kozo.  I wish I knew how to quit him … I really wish I knew how to quit him … :-)


- For film fans:  NPR has a two-part podcast about the Cannes Film Festival with critic John Powers.  Interesting stuff if you want to hear about the films that made a splash at Cannes.  In part two, Powers has some kind words for Park Chan-Wook’s THIRST and some not so kind words for Ang Lee and TAKING WOODSTOCK.  Here are the links:

- More from NPR: A podcast review of the Oscar-winning Japanese film DEPARTURES (LoveHKFilm review):

- Does Hiroyuki Sanada have it written in his contract that his characters have to die?  I watched another Sanada film over the weekend — won’t mention which one to avoid spoiling anybody –  and, quelle surprise, his character died.  That’s five Sanada films in a row for me in which his character does not make it to the end credits.

Image credit: Miramax Films (Teddy KGB)

News and Notes: May 14th, 2009

Time to clear out some of the items that I’ve been keeping in my little notebook:


I CORRUPT ALL COPS made HK$2.14 million last week to boost its total to HK$4.60 million from 11 days in theatres. The Mainland epic CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH (aka NANKING! NANKING!) opened with a take of HK$1.24 million over the weekend while TRAIL OF THE PANDA made HK$725,123.


IP MAN director Wilson Yip Wai-Shun gave an interview to the Beijing Times earlier this week in which he revealed details about IP MAN 2.  Yip denied rumours that Andy Lau Tak-Wah will be joining the cast as Ip Man’s rival.  Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, rather, will do double duty as action director and the main opponent.  While Yip expects the cast from IP MAN to reprise their roles in the sequel, they will not be continuing the Japanese resistance storyline.  Instead, the sequel will be set in the 1950s and focus on Ip Man’s struggle to open a kung fu school in Hong Kong.  According to Yip, the sequel’s storyline will be driven by the conflict Ip Man generates when he upsets the balance of power in the Hong Kong kung fu school jiang wu by opening his own school.

Asked if a Bruce Lee character would appear in IP MAN 2, Yip replied: “Only briefly.  The movie is set in the 1950s and Bruce Lee is still only a child so he won’t have a big part in the film.  Besides this movie is called IP MAN 2 not BRUCE LEE.”

Yip is currently scouting locations around Shanghai for the sequel.  Shooting is slated to being in August.

IP MAN recently took home the Best Film prize at the Hong Kong Film Awards.  Commenting on the victory, Yip said: “Before the Best Film award was presented, our film only had Big Brother Sammo Hung win for Best Action Design.  No one else from the IP MAN team won an award.  It was impossible for me to imagine that an outstanding film like IP MAN would win just one award.  Although I really liked THE WAY WE ARE, if we didn’t win Best Film that night, I would have stormed out of the room right away.”


The latest issue of Sudden Weekly (Issue #719) includes an article on rising star Tang Wei.  According to the article, Tang met with Harvey Weinstein, boss of The Weinstein Group, and Vice President of Asian Acquisitions & Co-Productions Bey Logan on April 12th at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Central.  While there are rumours that Tang, who reportedly speaks fluent English, is already considering five or six Hollywood projects, Bey Logan told the magazine: “That day, it was just a simple, preliminary meeting where we got to know one another.  We just wanted to learn a little bit more about her.  She is a very special talent who can work in Cantonese, Mandarin or English.  If we have a suitable role, we would definitely consider her for it.”



In recent weeks, there has been a lot of smoke but no fire yet surrounding a comeback by Brigitte Lin (Lam Ching-Ha).  Rumours have connected the retired actress to Tsui Hark’s DETECTIVE DEE and future projects with Jackie Chan and Sylvia Chang.  Two weeks ago, Ip Chun, the son of Ip Man, linked Lin to Wong Kar-Wai’s THE GRAND MASTER — Wong’s long-planned bio-pic of the legendary Wing Chun master.

Appearing on a Hunan Satellite TV talk show on April 28th, Ip claimed that Lin has agreed to play the headmistress of a kung fu school in Wong’s film.  Asked by reporters to confirm Ip’s claim, a spokesperson for Wong Kar-Wai’s Jet Tone Studios refused to comment.

In the interview, Ip went on to say that he has been helping Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, who has been cast by Wong to play Ip Man, prepare by teaching him Wing Chun.  Ip: “When he first started learning it, he didn’t feel much affinity for Wing Chun but now that he’s been working on it, I think he’s become more and more interested.  When he’s at home, he’ll ask Carina Lau (Leung’s wife) to practice ’sticky hands’ with him.  He’ll also ask me to test his skills once in a while.”

On the set of DETECTIVE DEE, Tsui Hark was asked to comment about the rumour.  Reporters wondered if Tsui felt snubbed by Lin.  Tsui: “I’ve been busy working on my new film so I haven’t heard anything about that.  Ching-Ha is my friend of many years, as long as she thinks it is the right decision, I’ll support her.”


With an amazing pedigree that includes Derek Yee Tung-Sing and Henry Fong Ping as its producers and Alan Mak Siu-Fai and Felix Chong Man-Keung as its co-directors, OVERHEARD (竊聽風雲) is one of the most anticipated films of the summer.  Starring Lau Ching-Wan, Louis Koo Tin-Lok and Daniel Wu, the movie tells the story of a HK Police surveillance squad investigating a case in the world of corporate finance.

As he plays Lau Ching-Wan’s mentor in the film, Louis Koo had to gain 30 pounds to make himself look older than Lau.  Asked if he was pulling a “DeNiro” and making a bid for a Hong Kong Film Award next year, Koo replied: “Robert DeNiro gained 60 pounds for RAGING BULL so comparing me to him is like comparing a little fish to a big fish.  Gaining a little weight is nothing.  I’m just doing my part for the role.”

Principal photography of the film has been completed.  It is currently in post-production.


Along with Big S Barbie Hsu, Louis Koo was on location in Beijing a couple of weeks ago shooting palace scenes for the new Wong Jing comedy FORBIDDEN CITY COP: SMART DOG.   In the film, Koo plays a royal cop who falls in love with a lady hero played by Big S.  Koo’s character doesn’t know kung fu so he has to rely on his brains to get out of sticky situations.  Speaking to the media during a break in shooting, director Wong praised the talents of his lead actress by remarking: “Big S is a very versatile actress.  She can do everything.  The way she played a mother (in CONNECTED) shows the depth of her skills.  This is a time of great opportunity for her.  With Shu Qi being selective about what she’s doing, she’s throwing away one or two good scripts each year that Big S can pick up and do.”

Yesterday, work continued on the film at the Hengdian Studios in Zhejiang.  Wrapped in an elaborate costume for more than 12 hours a day, one would think that the biggest complaint supporting actress Sandra Ng Kwan-Yu has is the 30°C+ temperature on the lot.  It was not.  Ng: “It’s been seven days since I’ve seen my daughter.   Luckily, we’re going to be finished here in a couple of days.”

Louis Fan Siu-Wong, Tong Dawei (Vicki Zhao’s playmate in RED CLIFF 2), Lee Kin-Yan (the cross-dressing nosepicker from various Stephen Chow movies) and Liu Yiwei (a Mainland television personality) also star in the film.  Newlywed Law Kar-Ying plays a character based on Marco Polo.

FORBIDDEN CITY COP: SMART DOG is scheduled to hit Hong Kong theatres on August 4th.  If the movie is successful, Wong hopes to make sequels with Louis Koo as the star.


Box Office Report: Cinco de Mayo 2009

A quick National Day long weekend box office report before I compile a news links post …

Facing tough competition, Wong Jing’s I CORRUPT ALL COPS made HK$2.43 million over the National Day holiday weekend finishing fourth behind Hollywood releases X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, 17 AGAIN and CORALINE.  The respectable HK$2.43 million take compares to the openings of films like THE DETECTIVE (HK$2.48 million) and PAPA LOVES YOU (HK$2.40 million).

In other HK movie box office news, SHINJUKU INCIDENT has been reduced to twelve screens and is currently sitting at a total take of HK$13.94 million.  Meanwhile, SNIPER is down to one screen and will likely not move much more beyond its current HK$6.24 million total.   Playing on three screens, PERMANENT RESIDENCE has made HK$310,000 in nine days.

The numbers (as of May 3rd, 2009):

1. X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (USA), HK$8.56 million, 5 days, HK$8.56 million total

2. 17 AGAIN (USA), HK$3.20 million, 4 days, HK$3.20 million total

3. CORALINE (USA), HK$2.75 million, 4 days, HK$2.75 million total

4. I CORRUPT ALL COPS (HK), HK$2.43 million, 4 days, HK$2.43 million total

5. THE HANDSOME SUIT (JAPAN), HK$2.02 million, 4 days, HK$2.02 million total

Back shortly with a news links post … Copyright © 2002-2021 Ross Chen