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A Case of the Mondays part 4

You guessed it, folks, it’s box office time.

- For Hong Kong’s Sunday numbers, there was plenty of love for the cynical Gold Label pop stars vehicle Love is Not All Around. On 37 screens, the film made HK$1.22 million on Sunday for a very healthy HK5.19 million total (including previews). Look for this one to actually have a chance to pass the $10 million mark with two fairly weak HK competition films this weekend - Susie Au’s Ming Ming, which will attract the cool art 20s crowd, and Francis Ng’s Dancing Lions, which might attract the slightly older crowd.

In other openings, Hollywood crap fests Epic Movie and Shooter gets 3rd and 4th place, respectively. On 26 screens, Epic Movie made HK$330,000 for a 4-day total of HK$1.25 million. As for Shooter, it made a healthier HK$310,000 on just 19 screens for a HK$1.11 million 4-day total. As expected, The Painted Veil saw a bit of a surge, making HK$100,000 on 5 screens with a 4-day total of HK400,000. One place ahead is the lesbian drama Spider Lilies in its second weekend, making HK$160,000 on 10 screens on Sunday for a 11-day total of HK$2.44 million.

- Speaking of Ming Ming, Lovehkfilm actually has a review of it already, but many of you probably know that already since you probably found this blog from it. For those who’s been tracking the Hong Kong box office and has no idea what the hell is Easter box office flop Super Fans all about, Kozo has a review of that as well. I knew Eric Kot sold out with this movie, but I didn’t know he sold out to a Karaoke chain.

- In Japan audience rankings, the kids ruled the cinemas as two newly-opened animated films top the box office. The latest Conan (the child detective, not the barbarian) film opened up on top as expected, while Crayon Shinchan opened on 2nd. Three foreign films also joined the fray - Rocky Balboa performed the best after this week’s screen expansion, scoring fourth place, while the unworthy sequel Hannibal Rising scored fifth place. Performing even worse is Hugh Grant/Drew Berrymore’s Music and Lyrics, managing only an 8th place opening. Meanwhile, Box office Mojo seems to have some discrepancy again with the numbers, so we’ll go into that tomorrow when they have the entire top 10.

- Just about all the Spring Japanese drama has started, and the ratings are nowhere near the numbers networks enjoyed last season or even last year, for that matter. This season, the most anticipated new dramas are “Proposal Daisakusen,” starring boy band NEWS member Tomohisa Yamashita and Masami Nagasawa taking over Fuji’s best drama time slot, “the food drama “Banbino,” and Yuji Oda/Juri Ueno’s May-September romance “Joudan Janai!” After one full week, Joudan Janai opened strong with a 19.4 rating for its first episode, but has since fallen to a disastrous 14.7 rating for its second week. Proposal Daisakusen is in a close second place with a 19.3 opening episode with its second episode just aired a few hours ago in Japan. As for Banbino, it opened at an OK 16.6 rating.

Other dramas this Spring include the Japanese adaptation of the hit Korean drama Hotelier, starring idol Aya Ueto and a cameo by original star Bae Yong Joon (better known as Yonsama in Japan). It opened at a weak 11.1 rating in its first week. Even Death Note star Kenichi Matsuyama can’t help comic adaptation Sexy Voice and Robo, which had a weak first-week rating of 12.5, only to slip further into an 8.7 rating for its second week.

- In the North American box office, Disturbia, or better known as “Rear Window for Gen-Y,” topped the box office again. Grindhouse continues its freefall for its third weekend, and Hot Fuzz opens with an impressive $7,089 per-screen average on just 825 screens. In Asian film news, while Mark Cuban may be pissed about his Dallas Mavericks losing to the Golden State Warriors in their first game in the NBA playoffs (go Warriors!), he should be happy to know that The Host is now his Magnolia Picture’s 8th highest-grossing film ever. It’s only a little over $2 million in box office, but Cuban needs a little consolation prize right now, so there.

- That was fast. The recent commercial South Korean disappointment The Show Must Go On, starring Song Kang-Ho and directed by Rules of Dating’s Han Jae-Rim, is already seeing a DVD release date. According to Twitch, the DVD is coming out on July 30th, which isn’t that small of a theatrical-to-DVD window, but I’m surprised they’re announcing it so quickly. Funny enough, Paradise Murdered, the film that took The Show Must Go On off its box office throne, is also coming to DVD on July 30th.

- Everyone is picking on poor China. After the United States filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over China’s rampant piracy of Hollywood films, Japan is now planning to file their own complaint against China as well. Oh, and sources say the EU is planning to do the same. Talk about the dirty Capitalists ganging up on the poor giant Communist.

- In true Japan fashion, while they blame the Chinese for not doing enough, the Japanese also have to praise themselves for cracking down piracy the right way. Oh, and they’re blaming foreigners for that too! I wonder if those Japanese street vendors at Osaka’s Electronic Street are still working the streets as if nothing is happening….

- Speaking of Hollywood and Japan, after the successful premiere of Spiderman 3 last week in Tokyo, Warner Bros. is now planning a similar rote for their summer tentpole film - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Hoping to continue their over-10 billion yen box office streak in Japan for the franchise, Warner Bros. will hold its premiere in Tokyo on June 28th, while the rest of the world will start seeing the film on the weekend of July 11th. Oh, except Japan, where it’ll actually open a week late.

- British Airway wants to provide the latest hit movies for their passengers, but it doesn’t want to do it if a rival airline and its chairman show up in it. In a petty immature fashion, BA decided to cut out Virgin Atlantic chairman Richard Branson’s cameo in the latest James Bond film Casino Royale. They also blurred out the appearance of a Virgin Atlantic plane in the film. Oh, behave!

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