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Sometimes you just don’t know whom to trust

- Box Office Mojo posted its own official Japan box office numbers from this past weekend, and there’s a slight discrepancy - While yesterday’s Eiga Daisuki ranking shows Monster House at 10th place with Battle Of Wits at 3rd, the Box Office Mojo ranking shows the new film Dear Friends at 10th place, and Battle of Wits at 4th, behind Marie Antoinette. What gives?

Nevertheless, the Battle of Wits opening is weaker in numbers than I thought, since the release is fairly wide at 246 screens, it only took in 130 million yen (that’s about 1.09 million in US dollars, according to Mojo) for a 528500 yen average, which amounts to only about US$4400 per-screen. And average ticket prices in Japan is 1500 yen (adult price is 1800, but advanced tickets are sold at 1300 yen, and students are charged 1500 yen as well), so do the math. Since, according to Eiga Consultant, it did do 114% of The Promise’s opening weekend business (and possibly with considerably better word of mouth and a popular source material), it might do respectable business for a Hong Kong film. Then again, Hong Kong films usually don’t even see the top 10, so we’ll see.

Meanwhile, Japanese films are staying afloat quite well, with Dororo losing only 15% of its business, and Shall We Dance director Masayuki Suo’s “Soredemo Boku Wa Yattenai” losing only 14% and will probably stay strong thanks to word-of-mouth and recent promotion by the director himself. The multiple-Oscar nominated The Departed, however, not doing so well, losing another 40% of its business over the weekend, along with Letters From Iwo Jima, which finally seems to be dying down after an astonishing 9 weeks in the top 10.

Source: Box Office Mojo

- Takeshi Kitano (or known as Beat Takeshi) has recently completed his 13th film, which will supposedly with a mishmash of homages to Ozu, science fiction, and I guess whatever oddball stuff he can come up with. It will open in June.

Source: Japan Zone (please scroll down if you don’t see it)

- Twitch has been provided with stills from Soi Cheang’s new film Shamo. This time a manga adaptation, the presumably hardcore action flick will star former pretty boy Shawn Yue, whom I always thought has great potential as an actor. The original comic apparently featured many gay rape scenes (it does partially takes place in prison), but the director himself said that they have been left out of the film.

Source: Twitch

- The team behind the controversial “Lost in Beijing” is now prepared to defy the censors and show the film uncut in Berlin….at least for the market screenings. But they have yet to decide which version to go with for the public screening. Come on, stick it up to the man!

Source: Variety Asia

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