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The Golden Rock - June 18th, 2007 Edition

The Golden Rock is back for another month and a half of continuous blogging. Yes, I did miss compiling a ton of news everyday, as I still kept up on Variety Asia and Twitch from 70 miles away. Anyway, the weekend’s over now, so let’s do this thing.

- Hong Kong box office was pretty disappointing over the holiday weekend, at least for Hong Kong. The two Hong Kong openings - Mr. Cinema and Kidnap, both opened to very weak openings. On Sunday, Samson Chiu’s Mr. Cinema made only HK$350,000 on 27 screens for a 4-day total of HK$1.16 million, while Law Chi-Leung’s Kidnap made only HK$230,000 on 25 screens for a 4-day (plus previews the previous weekend) total of HK$1.16 million. Patrick Leung and Chan Hing-Ka’s Simply Actors, starring Jim Chim and Twins’ Charlene Choi, opens today in Hong Kong, and we’ll see how it does on Wednesday. Yau Nai-Hoi’s Milkyway production of Eye on the Sky didn’t do too well either, making only HK$80,000 on 26 screens of advanced preview showings, and HK$170,000 after two nights. Either way, Hong Kong cinema’s summer season isn’t having a very good start so far.

In other box office rankings, Fantastic Four naturally opens in first place, making HK$2.07 million on 62 screens (I don’t even remember the first film doing that well in Hong Kong) for a HK$7.71 million after 4 days, Ocean’s Thirteen hangs on with HK$630,000 on 38 screens for an11-day total of HK$9.3 million, and British film Cashback stays strong with HK$40,000 on 2 screens. There are no huge Hollywood openings this weekend (Wild Hogs and Zodiac), so maybe it’s time for Hong Kong films to bounce back. One can only hope.

- Meanwhile, Lovehkfilm updates with a few reviews - Law Chi-Leung’s Kidnap, Billy Chung’s straight-to-video Undercover, the Korean fantasy extravaganza The Restless, and the J-horror film Ghost Train (written by yours truly).

- The audience rankings for Japan is also up, as Pirates continues its rampage across Japan as the number one movie. Japanese comedy Maiko Haaaan!!! is a hit, debuting at second place; Zodiac opens weakly at 5th place, but not as weakly as the Japanese romance Last Love (more on its weekend performance tomorrow), and Apocalypto jumps up to 9th place in the first weekend of wide release. Numbers and analysis tomorrow.

- In Japanese drama rankings, the Japanese remake of the Korean drama Hotelier starring Aya Ueto wrapped up its lackluster run with only a 9.1 rating, which is just above the season average rating of 8.5, but below the highest rating of 11.1. Sexy Voice and Robo continues to limp at 6.5 (I’m guessing episode 7 will never be broadcasted), train nerd drama Tokkyu Tanaka 3 Go took a huge drop to a 6.8 from last week’s 9.7, Kodoku No Kake has dropped from the season-opening 11.2 to a sad sad 5.1, losing more than half of its initial audience (Even Sexy Voice and Robo managed to avoid that). Speaking of disappointments, Joudan Janai goes back down a little bit this week with a 12.0 rating.

The season, which has been pretty sad in terms of ratings, will wrap in the next two weeks. I think we all know that Operation Love will come out on top in two weeks (the big question is if it will break the 20.0 mark), but what about Banbino, Watashi Tachi No Kyokasho, both which have seen pretty stable ratings all season? How will audience favorite Liar Game wrap up after seeing a ratings decrease this week? Will Joudan Janai and Sexy Voice and Robo fight off their “disappointment” label by attracting more viewers next week? We shall know by next Monday.

Part 2 of today’s entry is about little controversies in recent Chinese medias.

- I’ve never been a fan of Jia Zhangke. In fact, I have a legit copy of Still Life sitting here, waiting to be watched. Recently, director Jia was asked to write an editorial about the word “perplexity,” and he chose to write about Xiao Wu’s banishment due to someone in the film industry denouncing it. Since then, it has stirred a controversy because the media found its suspect. I might not have liked Ziao Wu, but I am certainly sympathetic with the ridiculous treatment of the film.

- r@sardonicsmile warns that if you’re a celebrity in Hong Kong and you have a personal blog, you might want to watch what you even dare to hint at, because the Hong Kong media will jump on you like a shark looking for even the slightest hint of red. One thing: Is the Storm in a teacup reference to the old Commercial Radio Hong Kong talk show, or is it actually a pretty widely-used phrase?

- Doing my part to spread the word, a Hong Kong blogger realizes that one of his posts was recently plagiarized by a writer for Hong Kong pop culture magazine Milk. However, the editor was confronted, only to say that it was entirely coincidental that the feature happens to match the original entry 90% of the time (even the two glaring mistakes in the entry was carried over). I’m even ashamed now to admit that I do read Milk Magazine with some enjoyment, which makes the disappointment even greater.

Now to regular news:

- I’m only reporting this for rachael: Aoi Miyasaki, better known as the cute Nana in the first Nana movie, announced her surprise marriage this past weekend. Yeah, usually I wouldn’t report something like this, but anything to keep them readers happy.

- The Jackie Chan/Jet Li historical family film Forbidden Kingdom has delivered its progress report, and they might as well have not reported it if they just say something like “it’s going well.” Jackie Chan apparently did offer promising words about the Chan/Li fight, but I’m still being very very skeptical about this English production passed off as a Chinese film.

- The Shanghai International Film Festival has officially opened, but it opened fairly low-key with very little business being done and a lack of real Panasian stars.

Meanwhile, Geoff Gilmore, the head of the Sundance Film Festival, took the Shanghai festival as an opportunity to blast the International Federation of Film Producers Association for their ratings of film festivals around the world. Might not matter to you, but it does to me.

- Japan Times reviewed Miki Satoshi’s Insects Unlisted in the Encyclopedia, probably most notable outside Japan for being Kinko Kikuchi’s first film after her Oscar nomination for Babel.

And they also liked The Prestige very much too.

- Dai Nipponjin is hitting the festival circuits, and they’re the major ones. The most exciting one in Hong Kong because I’ll actually be there next year, but Toronto is pretty damn exciting too.

- Speaking of exciting, the teaser for P.T. Anderson’s There Will be Blood is up and running. It looks different than anything he’s done, but he’s one of my favorite filmmakers, so I’m looking forward to it big time.

- Noruhiro Koizumi, the director of Midnight Sun, is taking on Gachi Boy, the adaptation of a play about a professional wrestler with a memory problem. I can’t tell if this is supposed to be an inspiring sports story or a comedy yet.

- Also working on a new film is Jeff Lau. His new comedy The Fantastic Waterbabes will star Gillian Chung and Alex Fong (seems natural to have an ex-olympics swimmer turned pop star to be in a movie about swimming), and will be released in time for the Beijing Olympics. I like Jeff Lau, but I don’t like EEG and movies that cash in on current events. What to do, what to do…

- Twitch write about the new Korean film The Wonder Years, about a young girl who is so sure that her mom is a famous rock star that she goes out in search of her in Seoul…with a little help from her friends(That was a Wonder Years reference, by the way). Plot sounds interesting, but after Ice Bar, I am approaching Korean films about searching for biological parents with caution.

- Doesn’t really have anything to do with Asian entertainment, but Jean Reno has a new commercial in Japan, and it’s pretty awesome. Who knew that he’s such a cool romantic lead?

- There’s gonna be another Godzilla movie…….in 3D!

2 Responses to “The Golden Rock - June 18th, 2007 Edition”

  1. rachael Says:

    i wasn’t even aware “storm in a teacup” would be a reference to anything, haha. i just meant the saying in plain english, y’know, like making a fuss over nothing really.

    oh, no geinou gossip for you? :)

  2. GoldenRockProductions Says:

    hey rachael,

    Storm in a Teacup was a notorious morning program on Commercial Redio Hong Kong that featured very outspoken hosts that got into their shares of controversies for their words. But it looks like it was just me overthinking.

    I read geinou gossip, I just don’t report them because the world of film deals are exciting enough for me =P

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