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Archive for July 18th, 2007

The Golden Rock - July 17th, 2007 Edition

OK, just a relatively short entry today, and perhaps a break for the rest of the week due to familial obligations.

- Box Office Mojo has no box office figures for Japan up yet, but the audience ranking for the 14th and 15th (I emphasize this because it was a three-day weekend. More later) shows the Pokemon movie at number one, and super-duper-ultra-wide release Monkey Magic/Saiyuki (which Jason Gray pointed out it’s actually the widest Japanese live-action release ever. The widest animation release has got to be a Ghibli movie, just not the last two) managed only number two.

Here’s where it gets messy - Variety reports that the film made about 795 million yen over three days, despite the typhoon (understandable - typhoon means bad weather, bad weather means people don’t want to go out…..or go somewhere indoors like a movie theater) and the earthquake in Niigata? Not to undermine Niigata, been there once, real pretty, but real rural too. So people can possibly be so upset about a devastating earthquake in Niigata to stop themselves from watching a movie about a monkey and a female monk fighting some cgi monsters? I don’t mean to show any lack of sympathy for the victims - I was in Japan during the last Niigata earthquake, and it wasn’t fun even from Tokyo - but I agree with Jason that writing as if Monkey Magic had fought mother nature and won seems….ridiculous.

Meanwhile, the story of the weekend ought to be the Pokemon movie, because it managed to make 780 million yen in TWO days. Of course, there’s this whole thing about getting something on the Nintendo DS in the movie theater, but it managed to open at 190% of the last movie’s opening, and may very well get pretty close to the highest Pokemon film gross of 7.24 billion yen, set by the first film. However, I think it has more to do with the fact that it’s the 10th anniversary movie anyway. Take that, SMAP monkey king.

- In Korea box office, Harry Potter dominated to no one’s surprise. Transformers is getting very close to breaking the record for highest number of admissions for a foreign film (yay, fighting robots!), and Black House continues to hang on for Korean films at 4th place with 1.2 million admissions.

- Sorry, Japanese TV ratings take too long to go over, so I’ll keep things really short. The Monday night 9pm Fuji TV drama (typically the hottest time slot for dramas) First Kiss scored a huge premiere with 19.7 rating (we’ll talk about its crash and burn next week). The apparently very annoying Hana Sakari No Kimi Tachi He earned more viewers with an 16.8 rating, Yama Onna Kabe Onna, which someone asked me to track, fell just a little bit to a 13.5 rating in its second week, and TV Asahi’s bar hostess drama Jotei scored a so-so 12.4 rating. As always, read up on information on dramas at Tokyograph.

- Director Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises disappeared just before it was supposed to premiere at Cannes. Turns out it got rejected, because “parts of the film were mangled in post-production,” which might be the Chinese excuse for a messy third-act that people hated. Anyway, the film will now finally premiere this fall in Venice and China.

- Japanese public broadcaster NHK charges every household in Japan for watching, no matter how much time you spend watching it. After a wave of people finally fed with their recent corruption scandals, a bunch of people stopped paying. Now NHK has decided to cut fees by 20% and get rid of those annoying door-to-door guys that came to my dorm room to collect. As a side note: I apologize to NHK again for just cancelling my bank account before leaving Japan without notifying them. Thank you for not taking me to court, you greedy assholes.

That’s it for the week (probably). I’ll be back on time for the weekend, and I’ll keep tracking world out there. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen