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The Golden Rock - June 19th, 2007 Edition

We’re surprisingly busy here for the rest of the week, but we gotta get through all this news anyway, so let’s do it quickly:

- Japanese box office numbers are out at a much higher exchange rate than last week (US$1=123.495 yen this week vs 121.775 yen last week), which means they seem to be earning less in American dollars in addition to the drop. I really wish they’d just stick to a consistent rate to show the true week-to-week drop each week.

Anyway, except for Pirates of the Caribbean and Apocalypto (which saw a screen increase), looks like almost all the films took a pretty big hit, with 300 leading the way by losing 56% of its audience. That almost never happens in the top 10 in Japan.

Yesterday, I mentioned that Maiko Haaaan!!! opened pretty big at second place with 230 million yen. However, Eiga Consultant gets it straight and points out that it actually only opened at 76% of writer Kenkuro Kudo’s last film Kisarazu Cat’s Eye World Series (which ended up with an 1.8 billion yen total) and 80% of Kou Shibasaki’s last comedy Star Reformer (2 billion yen total). Mr. Texas also points out that this year seems to lack the huge hits such as Umizaru 2, Suite Dreams, and even Star Reformer. In fact, the highest-grossing Japanese film this year, Dororo, only grossed less than half of Umizaru’s final gross. Is the Hoga resurrection that short-lived?

Meanwhile, the May-September romance Last Love, starring Masakazu Tamura and Misaki Ito, opened pretty weakly at 8th place with only 45 million yen. That’s only 29% of Love Never to End, another drama that aimed at an older crowd, though the latter film did have the sex scenes to bring in more of the older crowd.

- Jason Gray got it first, as he reported that Tsukamoto Shinya’s Nightmare Detective is headed for a sequel less than half a year after the first film was released. Less than a day later, Ryuganji has plenty of expanded information about what the sequel will be like. According to the website, the DVD of the first film will be out this weekend. Did anyone know how well this film did? I don’t even remember it ever hitting the top 10.

This was a clothing store in Harajuku that happened to also be promoting the film at its storefront, January 2007.

- The Melody Awards was handed out in Taiwan recently. Nicky Lee and Jolin Tsai, both pop stars that I don’t particular care for, picked up best male and female awards, respectively. And David Tao, who delivered a fairly underwhelming album last year, still managed to pick up an award for best duet.

- There are some creative ways to meet your favorite celebrity, this is not one of them.

- Under “most surprising news” today, a sequel to the mega Korean blockbuster The Host is now in pre-production. I know monster flicks are prone to sequels, but there’s almost no way this is going to top the original.

- A Chinese documentary about a school class election picked up the top feature award at the AFI/Discovery Channel Docufest. Good for them.

- The website for Feng Xiaogeng’s latest film The Assembly, which seems to be next year’s big Chinese New Year film in China, just uploaded a trailer. It looks technically accomplished, but it still seems pretty derivative to me.

- Twitch also has a trailer for the Korean film May 18th, about the Kwangju uprising. It looks pretty intense, considering its director made Mokpo, Gangster’s Paradise. But there’s something about that overdramatic music towards the end…

- With the latest chapter of the China-vs-Japan-history saga taking a turn for the worse, it’s good to see some people still acting pretty sane. Toho/UniJapan and China film are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding for cinematic cooperation. What does that mean? It means China and Japan are now one step closer to collaboration on film, strengthening the role of Asian films around the world, politics be damned.

- Unlike Hong Kong, Shanghai’s ongoing film market is currently still only seen as a work-in-progress.

- After teaching Hong Kong a lesson, Hollywood went up to Shanghai and taught the Chinese film industry how to emulate Hollywood too.

- The Dragon Dynasty two-disc DVD for John Woo’s Hard Boiled is up for pre-order. I’m very happy with my Mei-Ah remastered DVD (which I guess isn’t the best in the market), so unless it has some mind-blowing feature, I’m skipping it. Still, if you haven’t seen this amazing action flick, this is probably the chance to see it.

- Lastly, looks like they’re trying to really give the newly reset James Bond franchise some class by signing up Monster’s Ball director Marc Forster to direct the next film. The last time they tried that with Michael Apted ended up with The World is Not Enough. Might not be such a good idea.

One Response to “The Golden Rock - June 19th, 2007 Edition”

  1. Don Says:

    “Nightmare Detective” didn’t make the top ten because, well, it’s a Tsukamoto film (not dissing the guy or his movies, but he’s just not the multiplex type), and because its release was typically limited for a film of its scale.

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