February 21st, 2007
With the new year holidays coming to an end in Hong Kong, it’s time to get back to the down and dirty. That’s right, it’s box office round up time:
- Tuesday numbers (or the third day of new year and the last day of the public holidays) indicate that Night at the Museum overwhelmingly wins the battle with a HK$2.94 million take on Tuesday from 45 screens for a HK$19.94 million total (even though it got a $2.5 million head start with previews). On the Hong Kong side, Protege trumps its competitors by a mile with a HK$2.07 million Tuesday take from 40 screens for a HK$14.94 million total. Note that in multiplexes, it’s playing on smaller screens (because Night at the Museum took the one large screen in these theaters), and with a really good word-of mouth, it’s gonna do pretty well in the long run.
As for the other Hong Kong films, Ronald Cheng’s “directorial debut” It’s a Wonderful Life (review by LovehkFilm here) scored HK$810,000 on Tuesday from 33 screens for a total of HK$4.71 million total after 7 days. It’s the obligatory “fun lunar new year movie,” so expect business to be brisk past this week, but it will finish under $10 million, which is nowhere near the success of Dragon Loaded 2003, but still better than last years’ Lunar New Year offering The Shopaholics.
Not doing so hot are those cute Twins, whose Twins Mission (website still not working!) found HK$640,000 on 26 screens for only a HK$3.24 million total after 6 days. However, looking at per-screen average, it’s actually doing better than the Gold Label gang, so who knows?
Family films Open Season and Charlotte’s Web did acceptable business on Tuesday (HK$530, 000 on 27 screens and HK$560,000 on 28 screens, respectively) and are tied at HK$2.38 million for totals. And in limited release, Borat continues to be huge with HK$60,000 on 2 screens, and a HK$1.06 million total.
- South Korea also had its new year holidays, and according to Variety Asia (specifically, the always-reliable Darcy Paquet), box office is actually down overall, while Mark Russell over at Korea Pop Wars report the drop is attributed to new years being on a Sunday. Anyway, Mark’s analysis is here.
- In Japan, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has concluded that Japanese Variety shows need more fact-checking in a report about the investigation into the research process of such shows. Details from Variety Asia are here.
- On that note, the new years installment of TVB variety show Beautiful Cooking is up on Youtube (I’m not condoning piracy here, I’m just taking advantage of the free flow of information). Essentially, it’s a show where three females celebrities go on the show and test their cooking skills (or often, the lack thereof) for the male judges. Of course, it features the same old canned laughter and lame musical segments that only TVB can think of. Most amusing is Alex Fong Lik-Sun lip-syncing to the theme song to It’s a Wonderful Life, except he even lip-synced to Tony Leung Ka-Fai’s line.
Through further research on Youtube, I have found a long-running Japanese variety show called “Ai no Apron” (or the Apron of Love), and it’s basically where the cooking skills of female idols are tested for a male judge…wait a minute, that sounds like exactly what Beautiful Cooking is! This Wikipedia entry in Japanese shows that it at least goes back as far as 2005 (Beautiful cooking debuted in fall 2006)And here are those poor posters of Asian Fanatics Forum believing that TVB has come up with something original. Unless TVB’s got the rights to it, they better start preparing for a lawsuit.
This is why there should be free flow of information on the internet.
Note: looking up “Ai no Apron” or “愛のエプロン“( Japanese name) will not get you any result on youtube because of the copyright claims by Japan’s copyright people. Sorry.
- Back to more positive things, Twitch has a great interview with director Kiyoshi Kurosawa (whose new film Sakebi is coming out soon in Japan). But the interview isn’t about his new film, but rather about Japan’s response to Clint Eastwood’s critically acclaimed Letters From Iwo Jima (which has finally made its way to the imdb top 250!). It’s very informative, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
- According to Hollywood Elsewhere, Shakespeare in Love has been voted by British voters as the most undeserving Oscar best picture winner. I partially agree, since it should’ve gone to Saving Private Ryan, easily. But what about Chicago? Crash? even Gladiator (which I really love, but even I gotta face the truth some time)? Hell, what about Forrest Gump? or Driving Miss Daisy?
The point is the Academy Awards often make wrong calls more often than right ones. It’s not the first, it won’t be the last. It took me a while, but I got over Crash winning….eventually.
- A congratulations to Yee Chung Man for his winning the Costume Designers Guild award for Curse of the Golden Flower. The multi-talented Yee is a director, production designer, art director, and of course, a costume designer who made the enjoyable And I Hate You So and Anna Magdalena, but has also worked on dozens of Hong Kong films.
Source: Variety Asia
- Thank heavens for RSS feeds. I just got the news that the Japanese blockbuster Dororo is now headed down the trilogy road. According to Ryuganji, 2 back-to-back sequels for Dororo has just been green-lit and is set for a 2009 release with a 6 billion yen budget (that’s US$50 million, very huge for a Japanese film). The original hasn’t even made that much yet!