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Coming back strong

Still slightly under the weather, so report will be briefer and shorter. Still, there are some good stuff out there.

- Hong Kong Sunday numbers show 300 top at first place again, with HK$870,000 on 32 screens and a HK$11.61 million total already. The Pursuit of Happiness leads the pack for openers with a strong HK$490,000 on 16 screens, with Danny Pang’s “Forest of Death” scoring a moderate HK$380,000 on 31 screens (A Pang Bros. overload in HK? I think so). The two films have 4-day totals of HK$1.71 million and HK$1.46 million, respectively. Park Chan Wook’s I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK made HK$140,000 on 8 screens on Sunday for a HK$450,000. Who wants to bet how many of those are Rain fans?

- I always just let Mark Russell’s Korea Pop Wars take care of the Korean weekend box office. Why? Because he knows more than me, of course. Well, I know that 300’s global domination has reached Korea as well. SPARTA!!!!

- In Japan, the box office this weekend is once again strong, with Night At the Museum taking a significant tumble, but Doraemon and Unfair hanging on. The Holiday opens fairly strong, at least according to Eiga Consultant. It opens at 146% of Something’s Gotta Give (the previous Nancy Meyers film) and 241% of In Her Shoes (the previous Cameron Diaz film in Japan). It should repeat the strong word-of-mouth business it has done around Asia.

Hoga News also has a report on another opening this weekend - Katsuhiro Otomo’s Bugmaster. I know, I’m just passing on the work to everyone else!

- Japan Times has a review of Bugmaster too.

- The Host expanded by about 30 screens on its third weekend, and it also saw a gross increase of about 9% for a 24th place weekend (up from 28th last week). With its opening gross responsible for only 29% of total gross, it means word-of-mouth is keeping this movie in theaters, and also well on the way to become one of Magnolia Pictures’ top grossers. Still, a mere $1.5 million gross for a film that made about 80 in its home country isn’t that great.

- Magnolia Pictures also hold the release rights for Johnnie To’s masterpiece Exiled, which didn’t do very well for distributor Media Asia at the box office. Now they attempt to cash in some more with a Hollywood remake coming. I don’t see why a film in the style of Sergio Leone Westerns needs to pay for any type of remake rights from Hong Kong, but good for Media Asia, I guess.

- Last time I posted a link to Professor Davis Bordwell’s report from the set of Johnnie To’s portion of Triangle and a deconstruction of To’s cinematography. Now Twitch’s Todd Brown has some set photos of his own.

- Filmart, how do they love thee? Let them count the ways.

- Speaking of which, Twitch’s Todd Brown has a report on what he saw at Filmart.

- In the realm of bad film ideas, the much-talked-about Jackie Chan and Jet Li project will be a family-friendly film based on The Journey to the West, the famous Chinese fairy tale with the Monkey King as its protagonist. There are other ways people are planning to bastardize the story too, but I’m honestly over it.

- Midnight Eye has a review of Sakuran, a film I’m still looking forward to watch.

- In a last bit of self-promotion, my article on Hong Kong director Derek Yee is up and running. Thanks to the editors at Yesasia for updating the post-Protege stuff.

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