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The Golden Rock - August 15th, 2007 Edition

- Let’s start today with the Japanese Oricon charts. The singles chart was pretty packed this week, with 17 of the top 30 singles being new releases. Leading the pack is Johnny’s Entertainment pop duo Takki and Tsubasa with their latest single, selling 57,700 copies to get the number 1 spot. The rest of the chart see fairly weak sales, including Leah Dizon’s 3rd single all the way down in 16th place, selling only 12,500 copies. However, that could be due to the announcement of the release of her debut album for next month, meaning fans can wait a month for their 14-track studio modified fix of Dizon’s singing. Expect next week’s sales on the charts to be pretty low, with Tokio and Kazumasa Oda vying for the top spot.

The album chart is even quieter, with Sukima Switch’s compilation album still ruling the charts with another 145,000 copies sold. The two Orange Range compilations continue to sell strongly, with a combined sales of 73,000 copies to take second and third place. Def Tech member Micro’s debut solo album only sold 33,000 copies for a 4th place debut, and looks like band Greeeen’s hit debut album will finally drop from the top 10 next week. Next week, the profit from the death of the pop artist Zard continues as two compilations will share the first and second spot.

- They keep reporting it, and I keep linking it. Korean distributor Showbox announces that dragon in LA film D-War has now officially become the 10th best-selling Korean film of all time, proving again that cinematic quality doesn’t necessarily have a correlation with financial success. Also, Korea Pop Wars report that the success of the film might be going over the head of director Shim Hyung-Rae a little bit.

- The Thai horror film Alone, which was a minor hit in Korea last month, is coming soon to Hong Kong, but not without its controversies. The TELA (these guys again!) said the trailers and posters are too disturbing for public display, and has forced the distributors to cut and silence the trailer for theatre lobbies, as well as changing the posters.

Then again, the original trailer, which is now cut in all its forms, was pretty disturbing.

Original Chinese report

- I can probably link any site for this report - the lineup for the upcoming Pusan Promotion Plan, where filmmakers take their upcoming projects to meet with possible financiers, has been announced. This year, we have high-profile filmmakers (i.e. those that I’ve heard of) such as Fruit Chan, Hong Sang-Soo, Sono Sion, and Daniel Yu.

- Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke, who has made a string of films that were banned by the government before straightening up, sees his latest film Tattoo Age shelved because of the sensitive subject matter of the Cultural Revolution and they were unable to cast Asian superstar Jay Chou in a role. Jay Chou in a Jia Zhangke movie? He sure has come a long way from Xiao Wu.

- Speaking of ultra art films, Variety has a review of Locarno Film Festival winner The Rebirth (Ai No Yokan)

- In China’s never-ending attempts to please the foreigners about intellectual copyrights before the 2008 Olympics (how can a country that held a huge ceremony to celebrate the one-year countdown to the actual opening date not be excited about it?), the government will look to shutting down websites that allow illegal download of copyright materials, which would give them an excuse to go after those banned books too.

- Johnnie To and Lau Ching-Wan are teaming up for a long-awaited dramatic effort that I predict will probably be loved by film fans, but not make much money. Sorry, Lau Ching-Wan, as much as I love him as an actor, actually isn’t that great of a box office draw….neither is Andy On and Kelly Lin.

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