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Extra large Monday edition

Having been lazy for the last couple of days about blogging, I feel somewhat obligated to deliver more news today.

- The Pang Bros.’ Hollywood debut The Messengers (although not completely their film - Producer Sam Raimi reportedly brought in another director to reshoot a couple of scenes after filming ended) debut at no. 1 with 14.7 million dollars at the box office, marking the 5th best Super Bowl opening of all time. Reviews have been mostly negative, even though I thought Variety’s review was leaning towards the positive side, and it still got a rotten tomato.

In other box office news, Letters From Iwo Jima sinks 9% this weekend, despite a screen expansion. Sadly, the multiple Oscar nominee will limp to get to the 10 million-mark, unless Flags of Our Fathers’ DVD release this week help boost box office takes. I doubt Warner Bros. is worried, though, since it’ll make 40 million dollars in Japan alone. That’s double its budget.

Meanwhile, Babel and Children of Men are in a virtual freefall now. Especially sad is Children of Men, which has gotten great acclaim, word-of-mouth, and even Oscar nominations, only to earn back less than half of its budget in the States. On the other hand, good news for Pan’s Labyrinth, which has now apparently becoming the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in the States (sans inflation).

Source: Box Office Mojo.

- Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, new opener House of Mahjong has inexplicably become the number 1 film this weekend, earning HK$410,000 on 29 screens on Sunday for a 1.52 million gross after 4 days. Even the Project Greenlight film Feast opened at third place with a solid 260,000 on 23 screens on Sunday for a 1.01 million total so far, even though the version in Hong Kong theatres is reportedly only 87 minutes long, suggesting a 8-minute trim for a friendlier category II-B rating.

Blood Diamond continues to stay strong at second place with a inflated 370,000 take on 31 screens on Sunday with a 7.71 million total as it draws closer to being first 2007 10-million earner in Hong Kong. It might happen, it might not, who cares?

In limited releases, Anthony Minghella’s Breaking and Entering, which is also doing decent but not great limited release business in the States, managed to make HK$150,000 on 7 screens on Sunday for a HK$560,000 total. The biggest limited release opener, though, is the 2-screen opening of Borat. It made an extraordinary 90,000 on only 2 screens for a 280,000 total so far.

Source:, Broadway Cinemas

- There was a test screening for Derek Yee’s new work Protege last week, and results were generally positive. In the post-screening Q&A, Yee also laments the decline of Hong Kong films, citing the recent incident where citizens called in to complain about a broadcast of the classic film An Autumn’s Tale because of the scene where the Chow Yun-Fat character swears in a scene of road rage played for laughs.

Source is from the Oriental Daily newspaper from Hong Kong, but they change their online content everyday, so there’s no longer any official source.

- Additional review for Japanese blockbuster Dororo. Last week I posted a negative review, so now here comes a positive review for the usually-reliable (at least when it comes to Japanese films) Mark Schilling at Japan Times.

- Speaking of reviews, four new reviews for the month are up:
Joey Yung - Close Up (music)
Miriam Yeung - Unlimited (music)
Like a Virgin (Korea)
Live Good (aka: Mission Sex Control) (Korea)

- I like the Colbert Report. Unlike The Daily Show’s sometimes-liberal slant on its skewering of news, The Colbert Report is a sharp satire of the so-called fair and balanced Fox News and other right-wing news shows. So why am I talking about Colbert, you ask? Because he recently did a segment on this year’s Academy Awards and how it’s destroying America. Trust me, it’s funnier than it sounds.

Watch it here.

More tomorrow, hopefully, when the Japanese box office results may come out. What can I say? I live by Box Office Mojo, and so should you.

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