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Irregular

This type of irregular schedule of posting will probably continue until next Monday, but I’ll try to deliver as much as I can each time i post.

- I read a column on Ming Pao yesterday (that I’m not going to translate) and contributes to Spiderman 3’s current success in Asia to a weak market. Well, how can you have any type of market when Spiderman 3 is taking up 102 screens in Hong Kong? The usual Hollywood blockbusters opens on 50 screens at most. That’s probably why Spiderman managed a huge HK$2.35 million on Thursday’s opening day (technically it’s opening day for all films, but the only major release this week opened on Tuesday), which is a lot less than the record-breaking HK$7 million it made on Tuesday’s public holiday (the previous holder for opening day was Kung Fu Hustle with over HK$4.5 million), but still very huge. After 3 days, Spiderman 3 has already made HK$12.68 million, and expect it to pass the HK$25 million mark by the end of the weekend.

The films from 3rd place all the way down to the 10th all made under HK$50,000 on Thursday. That’s so sad I’m not even going to analyze it.

- Reporting this a little late here, but ratings for Japanese dramas was dealt with another blow last week as ratings continue to plummet overall. Sunday prime time drama Joudan janai drops further to a 13.2 rating, while second place Proposal Daisakusen drops only by 2.2 % in its second week for a 17.1 rating, which makes it now the number 1 drama this season. Kenichi Matsuyama’s Sexy Voice and Robo drops to a desparate 6.9 rating its third week. In fact, Proposal Daisakusen is the only drama that cracked the 15.0 rating, and no drama this season has cracked the 20 rating line, a line that 3 dramas crossed last season. Sad state of affairs, indeed.

- After the complaints received because of Hong Kong broadcaster TVB’s uncensored broadcast of the classic film An Autumn’s Tale, TVB is looking to get in trouble again, this time because of a protester’s foul mouth during a live broadcast.

- Korea Pop Wars has a story on how the Korean distributor of John Cameron Mitchell’s sexually explicit film Shortbus found a way to get around the Korean film board to get a general release.

- Anyone in Los Angeles heads up: The Visual Communications Film Festival is happening now, and it includes a screening of John Woo’s Hard Boiled, the Japanese film What the Snow Brings, and Korean blockbuster King and the Clown, among many more.

- Jason Gray has a few more tidbits, including the first photos of Yoji Yamada’s latest film, and Asian film- destroy…er, I mean remaker Roy Lee’s decision to scrap a remake of Battle Royale.

- Why, oh, why do they bother? First it’s Sin City, then it’s 300, and now, the latest Frank Miller graphic novel (a glorified way to say comics) ready for adaptation is “Ronin,” about mutants, thugs, and a ronin duking it out in modern New York for a sword, or something like that. And the directors’ pedigree continues to slip too - first it’s Robert Rodridguez, then Zack Synder (in all fairness, I surprisingly liked Dawn of the Dead), and now it’s the director of “Stomp the Yard.”

- Speaking of “why do they bother,” the trailer for Rush Hour 3 is up, and it just looks like a sillier version of Kiss of the Dragon with an annoying-as-usual Chris Tucker. Even Jackie Chan once said he was baffled at the success of Rush Hour.

- Hong Kong gets film development council to figure out what to do with the US$38 million film fund - good. Council then establishes four other committees to figure out more stuff in more detail - bad. This fund is in serious danger of being held up by bureaucracy.

- At least the man has the good sense to finally announce that he’s retiring in next 5 years. I wonder if that’s just action films, or all filmmaking, period.

- Continuing on “why do they bother” news, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh will be in auteur of crap Rob Cohen’s latest film “The Mummy 3.” Apparently they signed on a young actor named Luke Ford in order to have him carry the franchise. Just read the plot description for yourself.

- In more screen development news, the big discovery in 2007 for Japanese music is the song “Sen No Kaze ni natte” sung by tenor Misafumi Akikawa, based on the poem, “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep.” The supposed history of how this song came about is that a Japanese author read the anonymous poem at Ground Zero in New York, translated it into Japanese, and wrote a song out of it. The song was sung at the annual Kohaku Singing Contest on New Year’s Eve this past year, and the single has now sold 920,000 copies to date. Anyway, I’m mentioning this song because Japan’s fascination with the song–>screen process is kicking in again, with a mini-series based on the song to be shown on TV in August.

- Want to know who are the most powerful people in Korean cinema? Look no further than this report.

- Twitch also has a trailer for Lee Chang-Dong’s first film since Oasis - Secret Sunshine.

- Be proud, Asia. Even though we’re not well-represented at Cannes this year, we still have three spots at Director’s Fortnight.

That’s it for now. When will I be back? I have no idea. Just keep reading, m’kay? Thanks.

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