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Better late than never

A late update today for personal reasons, but I’m here anyway. But given that it takes me around an hour or two to write a complete entry, I’m just gonna spread them out on this and the next entry. Let’s start with a bunch of numbers and rankings:

- Hong Kong Sunday numbers were, as predicted, fairly weak on the wide release side. The stronger numbers are all in the new limited release, with The Queen leading the way, earning a phenomenal HK$500,000 on 14 screens on Sunday (that’s an HK$35700 per-screen average, or roughly $4600, which is pretty good, considering the average ticket price in HK is give or take HK$55 and The Queen is playing in most, if not all, multiplexes). It’s already made HK$1.63 million, but given its talky nature, it’s hard to tell how far it’ll go with the average HK moviegoer, who was probably attracted by both the subject matter (being a former British colony) and the Oscar win by Helen Mirren. It ties with Protege, which took the same number, but on 33 screens. It’s already gone past that HK$25 million mark, and it’s even about to double Dragon Tiger Gate’s take at the box office, which signals some kind of hope in the HK film industry.

Next in line is Dreamgirls, which made HK$210,000 on 10 screens (total so far: HK$700,000 after 4 days), and then Letters From Iwo Jima with HK$150,000 on 5 screens (total so far: HK$480,000 after 4 days), which means it has a better per-screen average, which would make sense considering the inflated ticket price due to a longer running time. Anyway, I would expect Letters From Iwo Jima to have better word-of mouth and hang around the theatres longer than Dreamgirls anyway.

As expected, the Pang Bros.’ The Messengers did manage to take the 2nd place spot with HK$590,000 on 29 screens for a HK$1.89 million total so far, but with the fickle horror audience, it’ll probably fizzle out around the HK$5 million mark. Meanwhile, Night at the Museum remain unbeatable with HK$870,000 on 37 screens for a HK$35.64 million total so far. Looks like the HK$40 million mark won’t be very hard to reach.

- According to Korea Pop Wars, the South Korean box office seemed to have a much more interesting weekend, as three films are claiming the top spot.

- Japanese box office rankings for total attendance is out, and as expected, the over-titled Genghis Kahn movie takes the top spot. The One Piece movie takes second, Ghost Rider takes 4th, and Tom Tykwer’s Perfume takes 5th (Eiga Consultant analyzes its opening day and predicts that it will do way worse than Phantom of the Opera, which was a huge success in Japan, and do considerably better than A Very Long Engagement. The best news is that it will do better than it did in America. Of course, a 2 million-dollar gross isn’t hard to beat at all.). Sakuran went into wide release and stays at 7th place. It probably had a considerable increase in box office for it to stay at the same spot among the new releases. Takeshi Miike’s “Ryu Ga Gotoku” (based on the game Yakuza) also opened in a limited amount of screens and got the 10th spot (more on the premiere by Hoga News here). Hopefully, numbers will come out tomorrow for a more solid analysis (despite the change in the exchange rate in the last week).

- Japanese drama ratings are also out, and the Flower boys (don’t worry, it’s just my nickname for a show about a group of protagonists that actually have the galls to call themselves “Flower 4″) beat out Karei Naru Ichizoku again for the second week in a row, scoring 22.3 rating on its 9th episode (it’s also its third-to-last episode) while Karei Naru Ichizoku gains slightly with a 21.6 rating, but not enough to win the week. Yukie Nakama’s drama continue to find new lows with a 10.3 rating this week, and Haken No Hinkaku continues its higher-than-average rating run with a 19.9 rating this week. As these dramas begin to wrap up in the next few weeks, ratings should be slightly higher on the whole.

- David Fincher’s Zodiac also opened this weekend waaaaay behind John Travolta’s lowbrow road comedy Wild Hogs at second place with just $13.4 million. Then again, considering that David Fincher may be the film’s biggest attraction, it’s an OK number, but it won’t make back its reported $65 million budget in domestic box office.

- Lastly, it does count as numbers, but not really. Despite the recent health show scandals in Japan, 47% of Japanese people still believe in expert testimony on health shows, according to a survey on the Daily Mainichi news. In fact, only 67% of those people who believed the “natto=diet” correlation (which sparked the scandal) found out that it was false. Which means 1/3 of those people who watched that show is experiencing some heavy cognitive dissonance right about now.

I’ll fill in some of the links tomorrow, all the important news links are already there. And of course, more news will come too.

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