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Not much of an aftermath either

Just some leftover comments from the Oscars last night (and apparently my entry afterwards brought in double the page visit counts):

- Those over at Mobius (whom I believe to have some of the best insights on Asian films out there simply because, well, they know more than me) have a thread on the “Infernal Affairs is from Japan” flub by the announcer last night (although the responsibility probably goes to whoever wrote and didn’t fact-check that script). There’s even an interesting opinion on how the media reports that the Oscars have decided to award “homegrown films,” despite The Departed being a remake (and maybe the first Asian remake to win best picture).

- Speaking of the announcer flub, Daily Dumpling seemed to have made the mistake saying that it was Oscar winner Helen Mirren who made the mistake. No, it was announcer Gina Tuttle who did it. (The only reason that I made the comment here is because I didn’t want to sign up for Wordpress just to follow the usual HK-er comment about Infernal Affairs being better. In my humble opinion, it wasn’t. And don’t be bitter - Hong Kong did submit it to the Academy Awards for best foreign film, it just didn’t get considered, boo-ya!)

- A little off-topic, but a blog I read, Hongkie Town, has a pretty good round-up of the commercials by HK broadcaster TVB during its Oscar broadcast. I downloaded their broadcast of the Oscars when I was studying in Japan, and for some reason, it didn’t include any of the announcements for the presenters for some odd reason.

- Alright, I promised Hong Kong box office numbers. On Sunday, the rankings pretty much stayed the same, with Night At the Museum taking in HK$1.84 million on 45 screens for a HK$31.2 million total so far. It might hit that big 40 mil mark by the end of its run, since the Pang Brothers’ The Messengers being only its biggest competition this weekend. Derek Yee’s Protege, meanwhile, is showing signs of weakness with only a HK$1.06 million take from 40 screens on Sunday for a HK$21.85 million total so far. As I predicted before, it should hit the HK$25 million mark, becoming the highest-grossing Lunar New Year movie since 2004’s Fantasia.

As for the other Hong Kong films, Ronald Cheng’s It’s a Wonderful Life is near its death rattle with a HK$320,000 gross from 33 screens for a HK$7.04 total. It might just make it to the 8-million mark. Lastly, the Twins’ Twins Mission (website finally working!) manage to make HK$300,000 on 26 screens for a HK$5.27 million total, and it might just have a chance of hitting the 6-million mark. It may also mean that this is the end of the Twins franchise, considering at the heights of its popularity, Twins Effect managed to make HK$30 million.

As far as Oscar winners go, best foreign film The Lives of Others managed a healthy HK$30,000 on 2 screens and should be packed again next weekend in light of its Oscar win.


- Japanese box office rankings are also out (numbers will hopefully come tomorrow), and Oscar loser Dreamgirls actually took the top spot after debuting at 2nd last week. Dororo drops down one to second, and the kind of-big debut this week Sakuran (which is getting good reviews. More later) opens at 7th. It may not seem very strong, but it’s also not a very wide opening (while Bubble He Go! gets 28 theaters in the Tokyo area, and Dororo gets 27, Sakuran is only on 13). More on the results tomorrow when I have solid numbers in my hands.

Source: Movie Walker (for those screen counts), and Eiga Daisuki!

- Hoga Central has a roundup of some of the positive reviews for the Japanese films that opened this past weekend - Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Retribution, Sakuran, and the new film by the director of Linda Linda Linda. Yes, she actually has the title of the film whose kanji I couldn’t read. Here it is.

- A set of solid numbers I do have are those Japanese drama ratings, and TBS’s anniversary drama Karei Naru Ichizoku tumbles to its lowest ratings of the season with a 21.1 rating, while the Flower Boys surpassed it with a 22.7 rating. That’s right, Japan is so into its metrosexual boys that a drama featuring 5 of them would beat an epic-scale drama about a rich family in 70s Japan. TBS isn’t aching, though, they can now brag that two of the highest-rating dramas are on their network.

Meanwhile, the two Monday dramas recover from getting their lowest ratings last week, and Haken no Hinkaku continues to get above-average ratings with a 20.2 rating, down very slightly from last week.

- Variety also has the numbers for Letters From Iwo Jima’s international performance (i.e. outside Japan and the US). It’s a really long article, so I’ll just quote the important stuff:

‘Letters From Iwo Jima’ launched best in France with $744,500 at 153, while the pic’s soph sesh in Spain declined only 15% to $316,000 at 69, the U.K. debut took in $129,000 at 38, and the Australian opening grossed $104,000 at 24. “Letters” has grossed $47 million overseas, including $42 million in Japan.”

In case you want to know how Ghost Rider did overseas (I honestly don’t care), here’s the article.

- South Korea also had a pretty strong weekend. I don’t know much about the films opening and playing there (of course I know the foreign films, I mean the Korean films, although I review a lot of it for my freelance work). So I’ll let Korea Pop Wars do the job for me.

- After Chen Kaige’s The Promise was given the ultimate sarcastic middle finger by the Chinese internet community, the government is now imposing new rules for film crew in order to protect the environment. Maybe next they can try and get rid of pollution so smog will stop traveling to Hong Kong.

Source: Variety Asia.

- Hong Kong’s Sundream Pictures (whose logo looks like a mainland Chinese film studio from the 70, or worse, Raymond Wong’s Mandarin Pictures) is planning on expanding its work to international distribution and video production. Details from Variety Asia is here.

Lastly, I apologize for not getting back to comments as quickly as I had hoped to. I didn’t enable the comment notification option, and by the time I found the comments, it’s already been a week or two. I’ve activated that feature now, and comments are open to everyone (subject to not very strict moderation by yours truly), so go for it.

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