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Better late than never part 2

Since I’m writing a little late and by now a lot of news from Asia (particularly film deals from HK Filmart), but I’ll leave them for tomorrow.

- Box Office Mojo’s Japanese box office numbers show their unreliability again as its results are different from the total audience ranking. Their numbers (down from their 117 yen=$1 rate to 116 yen this week) show Night at the Museum at number 1 on 525 screens, Unfair the Movie with a far larger per-screen average at number 2, and the Doraemon movie at number 3. This is because since the Doraemon movie attracts more kids, and kids pay less money for a movie ticket. So while more people showed up to see Doraemon, Unfair attracted a predominantly adult audience, thus it made more money than Doraemon. This, of course, begs the question which ranking is more accurate? Would you want more people to watch your movie, or more money to be made from your movie?

- Another Japanese drama wrapped up last night, and it’s the soon-to-be-adapted-way-too-many-times Tokyo Tower series. Considering that it hasn’t done very well in the ratings, its last episode got an 18.1% rating, up from a 14.2 last week for an overall 14.9 rating. As evident from the success of the Unfair movie, Tokyo Tower the movie should do pretty well at the box office come April.

- My girlfriend also alerted me that one of the main actors in the recently-wrapped Haken No Hinkaku is actually former Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi’s son Kotaro Koizumi.

See the resemblance?

- Just how serious is Mark Russell at Korea Pop Wars about the Korean box office? He reported it all the way from Hong Kong, where he’s attending Filmart! Good work, Mark! Seriously, I wouldn’t be updating this thing if I get to go cover Filmart.

- Those Oricon rankings are out too, and Utada Hikaru holds on to the number 1 spot for the third week in a row with the single Flavor of Life. As a fan, I’m happy that she’s found this kind of success again, but too bad it’s for a single that’s become less Utada and more J-pop (at least compared to her older works). Meanwhile, Koda Kumi is at a relatively closed second with her latest single, and Remioromen, who became huge J-pop figures after the one-two punch of March 9th and Konayuki, could only muster a third place with their latest. Hikki may have to fight for that top spot next week as NEWS joins in the Spring break fight with their new single.

On the album side, even Koda Kumi’s erokawaii couldn’t beat Mr. Children, whose latest album Home scored first place with a huge sales figure of 690,000 copies. Koda Kumi and Mika Nakashima fought out the battle of second and third place, and Koda Kumi wins the battle barely with 161,000 while Mika managed to sell 153,000 copies herself.

- The Death Note Complete Set is also number 1 on the overall DVD sales chart on its first week with 161,000 copies sold. While this is not as spectacular as Bayside Shakedown 2 (which moved 327,000 copies its first week) and Crying Out For Love in the Center of the World (which moved 174,000 copies), this is the third best-selling first-week sales for a Japanese DVD ever, and also the best sales for a Japanese DVD since Sinking of Japan came out in January.

- I really liked the Japanese film Ping Pong. So much that I bought a second-hand DVD in Tokyo that still cost me an arm and a leg. And now its director has returned for his second film after producing 2004’s Appleseed. Variety Asia reported that Shochiku has picked up his latest film, the animated “Vexille,” about an undercover American military force who enter Japan to stop them from building a dangerous weapon in the year.

Likes: Director
Doesn’t like: animated film.

What to do, what to do….

- Korea Herald has provided the first English review of the first Korean film by Choi Yang Il (or known elsewhere in the world as Yoichi Sai, the director of the violent, but excellent downer Blood and Bones) Soo. Sounds like it’ll be even more intense than Blood and Bones.

Link courtesy of Ryuganji.

- Ever imagined a futuristic war film in the streets of Hong Kong? Your dream is coming true as Singapore have teamed up with an American investor to make the sci-fi futuristic fantasy “The Battle of Hong Kong - Exodus,” about the natives of Kowloon rising up to fight Hong Kong Islanders that have enslaved them. If I were them, Hong Kong islanders would make better rebellion story. The pic will be the most expensive ever made in Singapore….but why is Singapore, not Hong Kong, making this?

- Starting tomorrow, this blog’s is gonna be flooded with news from Filmart, but why not get a personal perspective from someone who’s actually there (honestly, from the news I got today, I might actually be there myself next year. Fingers crossed). That’s why, it’s Asian Film Award winner David Bordwell, who is reporting his trip on his blog (with some very very cool starstruck moments) . He’ll be there until April doing research, so I’m sure he’ll continue to turn in great entries from my favorite city in the world.

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