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Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
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Another one bites the dust

- First, some sad news to report in the Asian cinema blogsphere. Hoga News, run by Michi Kaifu, will no longer be updated. Hoga News has been a great source for news even before this blog started, especially for someone who can only understand maybe about half the Japanese cinema news stories out there. Michi has been there to put things into perspective (and not to mention English), and Hoga News’ presence on the Japanese news front will be missed by all. Hopefully, my Japanese is still good enough to read Eiga Consultant’s entries, whose links I originally got from Hoga news. Best of luck to you, Michi!

- Speaking of Eiga Consultant, he’s been tracking the results of the two big animated films that opened this weekend - Conan (again, the detective, not the barbarian) and Crayon Shinchan. Both films, despite performing fairly well at 450 million yen and 300 million yen, respectively, are somewhat under-performing. In Conan’s case, the opening is only 85% of the last film, which opened around the same time last year. However, since last year’s installment was the 10th anniversary film that performed 141% of its previous installment, this installment is actually performing at the series average. As for Crayon Shinchan, it should actually performing better since it’s the 15th anniversary film. Instead, it made 91% of the last film’s opening weekend, which made 1.38 billion yen total. It should still be at the series’ range of 1.28 billion yen to 1.45 billion yen, but for an anniversary film, it’s still kind of disappointing.

- On to the real Japan box office numbers, which is at a higher exchange rate this week (last week: US$1=119.304 yen. This week: US$1=118.725). It’s not much of a difference, but it was enough to put Tokyo Tower at 4th place, even though audience ranking puts it at 3rd. And the change in exchange rate means it shows the film dropping 19.4% in revenue when the film really lost about 20%. Of course, since Tokyo Tower appeals to an older audience, it just means more lower-priced tickets were sold. Meanwhile, Music and Lyrics still opened at 8th place (flop!), and even the well-received Blood Diamond (it’s at third at the satisfaction ranking I just linked) lost 35% of its business.

- Under the “bad idea” label today, they’re making a second sequel to the South Korean hit “My Boss My Hero” franchise. Under the “worst idea” label today, it’s going to be made with a brand-new cast.

- Back in March, I might have written Twitch’s entry on a cheesy-looking Japanese action film called “Midnight Eagle,” which looks like the most manufactured Hollywood action film ever made (According to its website, it’s about “orientals” who places an explosive device within a Japanese military aircraft). Now we find out that it’s actually a $10 million (pretty huge budget in Japan standards) blockbuster thriller that is actually co-produced by Universal Japan, who made a whole lot of money with Dororo earlier in the year. I certainly hope it’ll be better than its teaser trailer is suggesting.

- Also good to see Japan (kadokawa Pictures) and South Korea (CJ Entertainment) getting together to make movies - too bad it’s another generic horror movie set for a summer release. At least the poster looks really groovy, man.

- Hey, America, you ain’t so bad, with your formal complaints and shit. We Chinese already have pirated copies of your most anticipated movies a week and a half before anyone else is supposed to see it. Of course, it’s probably a scam set to cash in on the hype cheating the poor bastards who think they lucked out, but still, how about them apples?

- A reminder to people in New York that Johnnie To’s masterpiece Election 2 (renamed Triad Election in the states) is opening tomorrow for a limited run. You can also catch the first Election film during its one showing a day. I find it interesting that the theater’s website have to assure people that “Triad Election” can be perfectly enjoyable on its own, although I personally don’t necessarily agree. Let’s just say you won’t be too lost watching just Triad Election, but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t watch the first film as well.

- Now to the folks in Tokyo, Jason Gray recommends the latest Japan Foundation Film Series, which features classic films at a discounted 600 yen AND English subtitles. Trust me, you’re not gonna be able to get the subtitles at your local Japanese video store. What do you think was stopping me from renting Kurosawa movies there?

- Paradise Murdered, the latest hit in South Korea, has taken the top spot at the box office again, even though it’s DVD release has already been announced. Too bad other Koreans films aren’t doing so hot.

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