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Nippon Tuesday part 2

Let’s fly over to Japan first to see what’s going on out there:

- Japan weekend numbers are out, and as I mentioned last time, Dreamgirls debuted in second place with 200 million yen, which according to Eiga Consultant, is 72% of Chicago (also written by Bill Condon and made 3.5 billion yen) but 171% of the painful The Producers (which made 1 billion yen). Pending positive word of mouth, its total should come in around 2 billion yen, and be a solid little hit for Dreamworks/Paramount, even if they didn’t get those major Oscar nods.

Meanwhile, those pesky Dororo and Pursuit of Happyness are finally showing signs of waning, each dropping more than 30% after making tons of money. Surprisingly, last week’s newcomer Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust has some staying power, losing only 17% of its business, showing the second least decrease out of all the films in the top 10. The least decrease of the top 10 goes to the Japan-Korean co-production “26 Years Diary,” based on the true story of a Korean man who gave his life to save another on a train platform.

- Eiga Consultant also analyzes the performance of best foreign film nominee The Lives of Others (which is doing very good business in limited release in the States), currently showing in one theater in Tokyo. Its first three days, all holidays, brought in 3032 people, totaling a 4.49 million yen take (120 yen=1 dollar). While solid, it’s also only 94% of what Brokeback Mountain did in its first 3 days in that same theater, and unlike The Lives of Others, it didn’t open during a holiday weekend. Still, German films don’t exactly bring in as big a crowd as an English film would, which makes this start pretty good as it is.

- Now kind of to Hong Kong, where a Twitch columnist has posted her own review of the Fearless director’s cut, and she likes it a lot more than the theatrical cut. I haven’t seen it myself, but skimming through it, I agree it turns into a much different film - more of the ambitious epic that it aimed to be than the tremendously entertaining theatrical cut. I don’t know if it’s better yet, I’ll let you all know when I see it.

- Kind of halfway back to Hollywood, Hollywood Elsewhere has a link to an interview with The Departed screenwriter William Monahan, who also wrote the great Kingdom of Heaven, whose director’s cut is one of the greatest films that never got discovered. He answers questions about what he thinks about the original films, kind of hints about whether there’ll be a sequel, and why it won’t based on the original prequel/sequel combo. It’s a good interview, even when he’s not talking about Infernal Affairs or The Departed.

- I loved Children of Men. No doubt about it. And I love the brilliant cinematography even more. That’s why I’m so happy to see Variety reports that its cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki has won the top feature film award at the American Society of Cinematographers award. Good for you, man. I’m pulling for him to win again at the Oscars this week.

- Lastly, Variety also posted its review of Hot Fuzz. Yeah, we know it’s gonna be good, we just like posting good news, is all.

Tomorrow, hopefully things are back up and running out in Hong Kong so we can get some box office numbers. It’s gonna be huge, just you see.

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