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It’s all money, baby

- Can’t believe I missed out on these two reviews out from Berlin yesterday on Variety-

A disappointingly short review of Japan’s Sakuran, whose most exciting aspect is the music from a personal favorite artist of mine, Shiina Ringo.

A very positive review for the new Milkyway film Eye in the Sky, directed by longtime Milkyway screenwriter Yau Nai-Hoi (with some assistance from Johnnie To, I’m sure). Does anyone know when this opens in Hong Kong?

- Variety also reports that John Woo’s epic extravaganza “The Battle of Red Cliff” have not only increased its budget to US$75 million (making it by far the most expensive Chinese production ever - the previous record holder Curse of the Golden Flower costs a comparatively minuscule US$35 million), but Woo has also decided to split the Asian version of the film into two 2-hour films while the non-Asian version will be 2 and half hours long. Yikes.

- US weekend numbers are out, and Eddie Murphy’s contract with the devil is seemingly still in effect as Norbit hits number with an estimated $33 million, making it the best opening for a film so far this year. Meanwhile, Hannibal Rising scores the franchise’s second-worst opening with only an estimated $13.3 million. Honestly, they already milked it for all its worth with the mediocrely-directed Red Dragon, what else did they expect?

Meanwhile, The Pangs’ The Messengers drop about 50%, Letters From Iwo Jima drops a very small 3%, even though it had a screen increase, and the German best foreign film contender The Lives of Others, which I should be watching next week after it opens here in San Francisco, has a fairly strong opening on 9 screens with a $24,777 per-screen average.

Tomorrow: Hong Kong numbers, and Japanese drama ratings.

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