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The Golden Rock - August 13th, 2007 Edition

The Golden Rock is back, around the same size and hopefully the same quality. Now reporting from Hong Kong, posting times will naturally be different, but hopefully still daily.

- As always, let’s look at the Hong Kong Sunday box office. Pixar’s Ratatouille has a very strong second weekend, making HK$1.63 million on only 34 screens for a 14-day total of HK14.81 million already. This should have no problem getting past the HK$25 million mark set by The Incredibles. Meanwhile, the three opening films opened neck-to-neck, with The Simpsons Movie (whose Hong Kong dub version features Josie Ho, Wyman Wong, Denise “HOCC” Ho, and pop star Ivana Wong) leading the pack, making HK$1.24 million on 37 screens for a 4-day total of HK$3.92 million. While The Bourne Supremacy is in third of the three films in total 4-day box office (HK$3.8 million), it was just under The Simpsons with HK$1.1 million on 31 screens. This means Wilson Yip’s Donnie Yen lovefest Flashpoint made HK$1.01 million on 33 screens, but did better overall this weekend with the 4-day total of HK$3.89 million(although this actually include the HK$200,000 from previews last weekend). With fairly positive word-of-mouth amongst Hong Kong moviegoers, this should cross the HK$10 million mark.

Don’t count those leftover films out, though. Transformers is already near the HK$35 million mark after 18 days by making HK$940,000 on 34 screens; Jay Chou’s Jay Chou lovefest Secret actually continues to hang on (probably thanks to the Jay Chou fans) with HK$640,000 on 31 screens (Variety Asia reports its box office success elsewhere in Asia here); even Harry Potter made HK$230,000 on 17 screens for a 33-day total of HK$49.98 million. Invisible Target, which pretty much got pushed out of theaters, looks to end its run with HK$13.19 million. All in all, this was a pretty huge weekend at the box office, which was probably helped by the passing typhoon and just generally crappy weather.

- In Japanese audience rankings, Transformers got pushed all the way down to third place for its second week by Ocean’s 13 and Harry Potter, which is somewhat surprising because it’s done so well with word-of-mouth elsewhere. Ocean’s 13 is the only new film in the top 10.

This week, Hideo Nakata’s Kaidan dropped from 8th place to 10th place in its second week, meaning that despite being somewhat well-reviewed, it’ll go away quickly amidst the late-Summer box office. It’s also the only adult-oriented Japanese blockbuster this summer. Kaidan’s opening is only 51% compared to the star’s last film The Murder of the Inugami Clan
and only 81% of Nakata’s The Ring 2 (although I don’t know why Eiga Consultant chose to compare with that). Looks like summer is just not the time for this type of films.

- In the Korean box office, D-War wins its second weekend with a total 5.06 million viewers already after a roughly 50% drop in attendance. Don’t count May 18 out, though, as it has already attracted over 4.5 million viewers. These two films have already surpassed Voice of a Murderer as the two best-grossing Korean films of the year.

- While it’s cool that the American animated series Afro Samurai will see all 5 of its episodes in Japanese theaters, the cooler part of this report is that Samuel L. Jackson will be in a planned live-action version.

- Under “This cannot be good” news today, Eric Tsang (a producer that can be said to have pretty low taste - look at what he did to the ending of Men Suddenly in Black 2) is teaming up with Wong Jing (an even cheaper producer who’s intelligent but makes movies of low taste and lack of originality - look at all of his movies) to remake the 1970 film The Seven Colour Wolf (I can’t confirm this English title because of the Yesasia name for it. Can anyone?), with Chung Su-Kei (who has made shit like Feel 100% 2003 and Nine Girls and a Ghost) taking the director’s seat. No word yet on who will star, I believe.

- Again, an artsy Japanese film that drove audiences away has taken a major award at an European film festival. Masahiro Kobayashi’s The Rebirth won the top award The Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. However, with two Asian films taking the top prize, the festival is apparently moving into the elitist artsy film festival that is drawing less interest from buyers.

- The Hong Kong entertainment news programs have been reporting for several days about Chung Siu-Tung’s latest period martial arts film (another one?!), this time with Kelly Chan in her first period role in a long time, Leon Lai, and Donnie Yen. It’s not very likely, however, that Yen will go topless in this one.

- In China, people are so insistent on seeing movies illegally and for free that they’re moving off the streets and into internet cafes.

- Under “who died and made him boss?” news today, Jackie Chan says that he hopes to finish the animated film Taiwanese director Edward Yang started working on for years before his death. Then again, the film IS based on Chan’s life, so I guess that would make him the new boss.

- Lastly, two major Thai directors are planning on developing the country’s first script development project, taking on 30 aspiring screenwriters on workshops and pitch meetings. This could, in the long run, breathe new life into the slowly-expanding Thai film industry.

Song of the Day will return some time this week, and expect something new with The Golden Rock this week as well.

One Response to “The Golden Rock - August 13th, 2007 Edition”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Nice to see you back. Speaking of the Thai movie industry, have you ever checked out this horror flick (IMDB entry here)? It’s from a while back, admittedly, and I saw a private screening, shall we say, a few years ago myself (not sure if it was the final cut). Thought it was quite good (although there was a feeling it could have done with a bit more fleshing out moving towards the climax), especially given the constraints it was made under - foreign director, limited budget, mostly first-time or non-professional cast, and so on. And to have a distinct appeal in a genre which has been done to death the last several years is quite an achievement in itself, one might add. To be honest, it was bumping into the director himself recently that reminded me of it. He’s an interesting gent to talk to, including, of course, about movies, actually.

    - NK

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