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The Golden Rock - August 20th, 2007 Edition.

If you haven’t noticed the link section by now, I now officially announce the opening of The Golden Gate Meets The Lion Rock. As I wrote in the first post, this spin-off blog is a result of a realization that the daily The Golden Rock entries are getting way too long. I will move all movie reviews and general Hong Kong observations into that blog, so expect reviews of some of the films I’ve seen here in Hong Kong and probably better pictures. Either way, it’ll be fun.

- If these stats are right, it was a pretty busy Sunday at the Hong Kong box office. Pixar’s Ratatouille pulled a surprising victory over Jackie Chan’s Rush Hour 3, making HK$1.07 million on 33 screens, passing the HK$20 million mark after 18 days. While Rush Hour 3 won Thursday, its weekend bump wasn’t enough, making only HK$1 million on Sunday for a 4-day weekend total of just HK$3.52 million. Then again, a few people at the screening I went to (out of a meager 15 or so) seemed to have enjoy it. Maybe they were high. The other opening film of the weekend, Walt Disney China’s The Magic Gourd, rebounded from its weak Thursday opening for a Sunday gross of HK$310,000 from 16 screens for a 4-day total of HK$840,000, ensuring that the film will indeed pass the HK$1 million mark. I walked by one of the theaters showing it on Sunday, and the monitor showed that the film was actually at at least 80-85% capacity, so I’m not surprised it did so well that day.

As for returning films, The Simpsons Movie leads the pack with HK$700,000 on 36 screens for an 11-day total of HK$8.07 million. It should pass the HK$10 million mark this coming week, especially for a cartoon that I’ve never seen shown on HK television (is it on HK television? Let me know). The Bourne Ultimatum managed to retain some word-of-mouth and rebounded on Sunday with HK$550,000 on 30 screens for a HK$6.88 million 11-day total. Another action film getting word-of-mouth but still being pushed out is Wilson Yip’s Flash Point (which I will review on the spin-off). Screens are dwindling down, and a lot of exhibitors are only showing this three times or less a day, but it still made HK$460,000 on 28 screens for a 11-day total of HK$7.35 million.

- Holy shit, this D-War thing is getting crazy. After its third weekend, the dragon-in-LA blockbuster has now accumulated 7.45 million admissions and is now the 7th biggest film of all time in Korea. the “historical” film May 18 ain’t doing so bad, either, with over 6 million admissions already. With Korean films taking the top 4 spots this weekend, does that mean local films are making a comeback, or just a weakening Hollywood lineup?

- We won’t have any numbers for Japan until tomorrow, but admission rankings shows Harry Potter overtaking Ocean’s 13 to become number 1 again. Under “disappointing openings” today, Fumihiko Sori’s Vexville opens at 9th place.

- In a brief roundup of drama ratings, Papa To Musume No Nanakakan wrapped up on Sunday with a 14.5 rating after scoring a season-low 11.9 rating last week. In the end, the Freaky Friday-clone scored an OK-average of 13.9, making it the 4th highest-rated drama of the season if things hold up. Meanwhile, the highest-rated drama of the season title was between First Kiss and Hana Zagari no Kimitachi he, but both are suffering from season-low ratings. Actually, everything is suffering from falling ratings, but Hana happened to have started high enough to stay on top.

Lastly, Sushi Ouji, the drama that had such high expectations that a movie was greenlit before the drama even began airing, has fallen to a 5.9 rating in its 4th week after premiering it with an 8.8. Who do they exactly expect to see the movie now?

- Wow. Sonny Chiba’s directorial debut is set to be released this Friday, and I had no idea. Oyaji stars Sonny Chiba as a loving father who dies in a family that ends up tearing his family apart. However, he suddenly returns the life, and I guess kicks a lot of ass with a shovel. It’ll only play in one Tokyo theater for one show a night, but it actually looks pretty good. Hell, I’ll buy an advance ticket just for that lighter.

And yes, I realize from the trailer that Chiba is only co-directing it, but I would guess that applies to scenes he’s not in, so that makes it a pretty big deal.

- Vietnamese-French director Tran Ahn Hung (Cyclo) is working on a new film, and it actually features a pretty major Panasian cast. I know Josh Harnett isn’t anything exciting, but it also features Shawn Yu (an actor I’m coming to like more and more), Lee Byung-Heon, and Japanese drama king Kimura Takuya. The story doesn’t sound that good, but I can’t help but hope for the best.

- And they wonder why Hong Kong people can’t accept Mainland Chinese movies. The chairman of China Film Group was reported saying that China needs more films that promote nationalism and are “ethically inspiring.” The quote that pissed me off the most? “‘The reality of this country’s economic reforms is that the country, the race, is prospering…There can’t be anyone who makes fun of it. People who do either have ulterior motives or they’re mentally challenged’” He really sounds like an American right-winger when he says that; maybe he should move to the American South and let the people who know what they’re doing (i.e. the filmmakers) do their jobs.

- Hell, even Jet Li is pissed at the way movies work in China. After attempting to make movies with positive messages that still fail to get into China, Li is speaking out about his annoyances.

- In a related note, Zhang Ziyi will star in a movie called Laundry Warriors.

- The US trailer for Johnnie To’s Exiled is up from Magnolia Pictures, and they sure make it look better than your usual Hong Kong action film trailer. Still, what’s up with all the shots of the girl in her underwear? Those are all from the same scene.

- The India film industry not-so-politely ask you all to stop calling their film industry Bollywood. And I politely ask them to stop remaking movies and just add sing-and-dance scenes into it.

- They’re so in love! While Wilson Yip’s next film is a co-directing effort that puts Donnie Yen as a horror-action hero, they’re already working on their film after that. What’s scary is that Yen will play Wisely, a legendary modern literary character that one can compare as the Sherlock Holmes of Hong Kong - but with supernatural aspects. In case you don’t know, the last Wisely movie was Wesley’s Mysterious Files. Now I know what kind of expectations to put on this.

- There’s a review for one of this year’s major Japanese drama adaptation films Unfair: The Movie. Caution, it does contain some spoilers, including one major plot twist.

- Chinese audiences are in love with contrived reality, as the reality gimmick show Wife Swap is a hit. And yet they’re not allowed to watch Chow Yun-Fat play a Singaporean.

- This remains unconfirmed, but Pang Ho-Cheung, whose award-nominated Exodus is coming out next month, will be producing with Chapman To on a new film after the critical success of Isabella, the first film under their production company. This new film will make up 8 stories of different genres (all to be directed by Pang?) and its initial cast list include Chapman To himself, Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Isabella Leung, and Gillian Chung.

Source: Oriental Daily.

3 Responses to “The Golden Rock - August 20th, 2007 Edition.”

  1. etchy Says:

    Simpsons shows on Stars Cable (in English).

    For the Jet Li comments, its a good idea to read what he wrote directly from his blog, some Western papers, who picked up on the AP story have somewhat distorted his carefully worded comments. Particularly the BBC…

  2. GoldenRockProductions Says:

    Hi, etchy,

    A link to Li’s blog would be really appreciated. Actually, if Li wants to still have a career in China, of course he’d have to word it pretty carefully.

    Too bad my building here doesn’t get Star Cable, but I never knew that The Simpsons have any kind of following in Hong Kong…

  3. Etchy Says:

    his blog is here:

    and the specific blog is here:

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