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The Golden Rock - August 17th, 2007 Edition

- This week in Hong Kong, we have Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour 3 (reviewed by Lovehkfilm’s Sanjuro) vs. Walt Disney’s first Chinese production The Magic Gourd (what the hell is a Gourd anyway?). On Thursday opening day, Rush Hour 3 wins with HK$700,000 on 38 screens, which guarantees it a win for the weekend, but it’ll not likely hit HK$10 million. On the other hand, The Magic Gourd, featuring Gigi Leung and the voice of Lau Ching-Wan (as the gourd in question), might not even make HK$1 million. Despite Disney’s attempts to get people in the theater (like the HK$15 off with a stub from Ratatouille at two theatres) and its hit status in Mainland China, the film only made HK$140,000 on 16 screens, probably exactly because it looked too catered to the Mainland Chinese market.

In holdovers, all the second-weekend movies aren’t looking to do too well, with The Simpsons Movie leading the pack, making HK$390,000 on 38 screens for an 8-day total of HK$6.1 million. Donnie Yen….er, I mean Wilson Yip’s Flashpoint is looking to do the best per-screen business with HK$360,000 on 28 screens, much of those already showing it only 3 or less times a day. After 8 days, it’s made HK$6 million, so Grady Hendrix was right that it would probably limp to HK$10 million, if possible. Lastly, The Bourne Ultimatum (great action thriller, by the way, even if it’s a little light on plot) looks for follow the pattern of the first two movies with only HK$250,000 on 32 screens for an 8-day total of just HK$5.32 million.

- The big news today in the Asian film world is, of course, the announcement of the Golden Bauhinia Award nominations. Even though I’m a fan of Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung, I have no idea whether to be happy or not that his latest Exodus (which doesn’t even open until mid-September here) managed to get 10 nominations. The fact that Filmko revealed that the Critics Association got to see the film because they pretty much asked the production company to screen it for them after seeing the ad only reflects poorly on the awards and possibly on the film itself. Hell, it’s kind of like voting for a chief executive in Hong Kong (800 elite members choose one guy), and no one wants to be reminded of not getting democracy when it counts.

Still, I was assured tonight that Exodus is going to be at least quite an interesting film, so I’m looking at these nominations as a good step to get some asses in the theaters.

- I forgot this by a few days again, but Variety’s Derek Elley managed to write a review of Kenneth Bi’s The Drummer, which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival at the expense of letting Hong Kong audiences see it at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.

- Unlike Prison Break, China is remaking yet another foreign series, this time adapting (I think with permission?) the comic/cartoon Prince of Tennis.

There’s not much today, because it’s so late and I need to leave some stuff to report during the weekend. So keep checking in over the weekend.

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