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Calm before the storm

- In less than 24 hours, the Cannes Film Festival will open with Wong Kar-Wai’s English feature debut My Blueberry Nights. I’m not going to be in France, and as an example of positive thinking, I don’t think I’ll ever be at the Cannes Film Festival. Nevertheless, I will try and keep track of the Asian films playing and selling there over the next 12 days.

The Hollywood Reporter has a roundup of the Asian presence at Cannes this year(not including the marketplace).

- The promotion for opening film My Blueberry Nights is getting out there. I found a promotional kit floating online that offers some beautiful stills(link is .pdf), and Twitch has the poster, which for some inexplicable reason places star Norah Jones in the little corner.

- Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To’s Triangle is no slouch either, as Twitch has also found the film’s own promotional kit online. It’s definitely worth a look.

- Enough with festival stuff for now, let’s get to some box office.

Variety Asia reports that the Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara-penned war drama “For Those We Love” opened pretty big this weekend, when that’s actually not really the case. Eiga Consultant reports that the film actually opened a lot weaker than similar war films. Compared to “Otoko Tachi No Yamato,” which opened on less screens, “For Those We Love” made only 53% of its opening in December 2005. When compared to “Letters From Iwo Jima,” which Ishihara panned to make his own film sound better, the opening is only 37% of Iwo Jima’s. Both films opened around the same year-end period and had similar final gross. At least it might make back its budget.

- In other Japanese box office news, seems like Gegege no Kitaro is now poised to be the highest-grossing film in the “Yokai” genre(I guess mythical creatures would be the best way to translate that).

- In Japanese drama ratings, it stabilized slightly after the Golden Week holiday in Japan.

See here for all drama information.

Proposal Daisakuen (also known as Operation Love) regains its footing for its 4th episode with a 16.4 rating. As you can see, the rating for this week’s episode even went up (more on that next week). It’s now currently the highest-rated drama this season.

Looks like Sexy Voice and Robo found a fan base, as the ratings are now floating around the 7.0 range for 3 weeks now. We’ll see if that happens for the 4th week later tonight when the Tuesday ratings are up.

The biggest disappointment of the season Joudan Janai! (which sounds like it would fit right in as an American sitcom) also seem to have found a fan base, as the ratings are now staying around the 14.0 range. Considering that Yuji Oda’s last TV Drama Last Christmas had a 21.5 average, this does not bode well for Yuji Oda’s future career in TV.

The Oricon website has compiled a ranking of the satisfaction rate for the current dramas. So far, it’s the returning drama Kaette Kita Jikou Keisatsu, followed by the comic adaptation Liar Game, and Operation Love in 3rd place. Sexy Voice and Robo and Joudan Janai are at 8th and 9th place, respectively.

- Korea Pop Wars has a pretty thorough analysis of Korea’s box office this past weekend. Spiderman 3 continues to reign, but it’s not reigning very well - the opening boom was there, but staying power simply isn’t. This actually gave a chance for Asian films to perform pretty well at the box office.

- In today’s “bad idea” file, director Kirk Wong is possibly casting his remake of the classic Hong Kong martial arts film “Five Deadly Venoms” with Jay Chou, Edison Chen, and Maggie Q. I haven’t seen the original, and I’m already dreading this.

- This weekend, 7 films will try and bring down Spiderman 3, including two of the Herman Yau films I mentioned yesterday. Another one of them is the Mainland Chinese thriller “The Matrimony,” starring Leon Lai and Rene Liu. Variety already has a review.

- In case anyone cares, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka is finally making money.

- The MPA is launching a new anti-piracy campaign in Asia with new trailers in theatres. Which makes me wonder whether those trailers in America with the explosion expert talking about how hard he worked for the movies worked in the first place, when every opinion I’ve read of it has been overwhelmingly negative? And what makes them think that the guilt mentality is going to work?

- In other stupid media tactics, the New York Post talks about how American broadcasters are trying to keep viewers tuned in during commercials. I have to say I had no idea what was going on in that Fox cab driver thing, but it sure was annoying.

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