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Archive for August, 2007

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 8/29/2007

- The Japanese box office numbers are out, as Rush Hour overtakes Harry Potter to become number 1. This is because the Rush Hour movies attract a larger adult audience, who pay a higher ticket price. On the other hand, Harry Potter attracts more kids, who pay a lower ticket price. Hence, more people may have gone to watch Harry Potter, but Rush Hour 3 made more money. Actually, the top 4 movies are fairly close to each other, with Rush Hour 3 making 211 million yen, Harry Potter making 210 million yen, Life Tengoku de Kimi Ni Aetara with 190 million yen, and Ocean’s 13 with 187 million yen.

Michael Moore’s Sicko opened way lower than his last film Fahrenheit 911 with 25.3 million yen. In fact, looks to be only about 10% of its 257 million yen opening.

Oh, Taxi 4 opened at 7th place, at only 65% of Taxi 3’s opening. I almost forgot it opened, just like most of the world forgot this franchise still exists.

- In Chinese box office, Blood Brother loses only 13% of their opening audience, and Alfred Cheung’s Contract Lover (which I’ll be watching tomorrow) lost an astounding 9%. Could it actually be any good?

Sadly, Donnie Yen/Wilson Yip’s Flash Point ended up losing 60%

- Look what movie popped back up on the mid-week top 10 in Hong Kong? Blood Brothers! From 20 screens, the flopper made only HK$80,000, and has yet to cross the HK$1 million mark at a 6-day total of HK$760,000.

Other than that, only two films on the top 10 took in more than HK$10,000 per screen - Evan Almighty with HK$710,000 from 29 screens, and the Thai horror film Alone with HK$240,000 from 16 screens. This Thursday should see a pretty busy top 10 list, as 7 films are opening.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/29/2007

Today’s song is a blast from my early university past. He was one of the more promising R&B singer from Taiwan that just isn’t doing so well anymore, but this single, one of his first, was a long-time favorite at the Karaoke for me. From his first album, it’s the title song “3 AM”

The Golden Rock - August 29th, 2007 Edition

- Suddenly the Hong Kong film slate this year just got a lot more packed, with new films by Johnnie To, Pang Ho-Cheung, Derek Chiu Sung-Kei, and now the Pang Brothers have a new film coming next month. Starring Aaron Kwok and directed by Oxide Pang, who last made the OK Diary, The Detective looks like it might be more darkly humorous in the vein of Leave Me Alone, and also marks the first major role by Kwok since his best actor win with After This, Our Exile.

- There’s a trailer for Jia Zhangke’s latest documentary Useless, which follows a piece of cloth from the Chinese factory to the catwalks of Paris. The trailer only covers the factory section, but it looks pretty interesting.

- Someone told me before that Japanese pop diva Ayumi Hamasaki actually vowed to her fans that she would never write English lyrics in her songs (although she’s used plenty of English song titles). And I noticed that it was true until last year’s Bold and Delicious. However, I would only call it half-English because unless she means something very dirty, Bold and Delicious doesn’t really make a bit of fucking sense.

Despite Hamasaki going all English and foreign, apparently Japanese music are using less foreign language in their lyrics these days, seeing a reversal back to more Japanese lyrics. I personally haven’t seen a reversal of that trend, but I’m a selective J-pop listener, so what do I know?

- Speaking of J-pop, it’s time for those Oricon charts. On the fairly active singles chart, the latest Keisuke Kuwata single, the theme song for the film Tengoku De Kimi ni Aetara, debuts at number 1 with 93,000 copies sold. Meanwhile, Aiko is not too far behind with her latest, selling 76,000 copies for second place. Mika Nakashima is further behind at 3rd place with her latest single after selling 56,000 copies. Lastly, Tokyo Jihen’s latest only sold under 33,000 copies for a 5th place debut. Next week, expect L’Arc~en~ciel’s latest to take the top spot, and Utada Hikaru’s latest (which I again don’t think is all that great) won’t have a chance at the top spot.

On the album chart, Hideaki Tokunaga’s cover album not only holds the number 1 spot, losing only 30% of sales, the other two cover albums also saw a sales boost to 13th and 16th places, respectively. Other than that, the album chart was pretty quiet, with Sukima Switch still selling a lot of their latest album. Next week, look for Ketsumeishi’s latest album to do really really well.

- Everyone wins! The Seoul Drama Award gave away its awards to dramas from China, Japan, AND Korea. Hell, even the UK’s Prime Suspect won an award. Wait a minute, is “A Dwarf Launches a Small Ball” the same thing as “A Ball Shot By a Midget?” It can’t be!

- Turns out Hong Kong’s TVB (who make some of the most popular mediocre TV dramas in the world) got even more nominations at the International Emmy Awards, this time they’re for acting.

- Under “Oh, silly China!” news today, turns out Charlene Choi’s character in the Hong Kong comedy Simply Actors has been changed for its upcoming Mainland Chinese release. While in the original version, she plays a softcore porn actress from the Mainland, she’ll be an actress that specializes in bad movies with some regional dialect of Mandarin. Apparently, even Choi herself doesn’t mind, saying that she’s not qualified to make softcore porn. Just give it a few more years, Charlene…

- Korean auteur Hong Sang-Soo is looking for extras to act in his latest film. The catch? You should probably be living in France to do it, since he’s shooting there.

- Heroes actor/whiz kid Masi Oka (whose interview in better-than-when-he’s-acting Japanese is here) says that Lost actually paved the way for Asian-American actors in American television. There WAS Sammo Hung’s Martial Law, but I think he’s actually right that it took this long.

- A few days ago, I said to take the news of Peter Chan Ho-Sun’s latest film “Deng Dai” with a grain of salt, but I guess it’s OK to trust it now that Variety Asia is reporting it.

- I didn’t mean for this news to be last, but Feng Xiaogang’s average-looking war flick The Assembly will be opening the Pusan film festival next month. Isn’t this not even set to come out until Lunar New Year? Still, props to Feng for not taking the easy way with making some World War II film, instead focusing on the Chinese civil war.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 8/29/2007

- The Japanese box office numbers are out, as Rush Hour overtakes Harry Potter to become number 1. This is because the Rush Hour movies attract a larger adult audience, who pay a higher ticket price. On the other hand, Harry Potter attracts more kids, who pay a lower ticket price. Hence, more people may have gone to watch Harry Potter, but Rush Hour 3 made more money. Actually, the top 4 movies are fairly close to each other, with Rush Hour 3 making 211 million yen, Harry Potter making 210 million yen, Life Tengoku de Kimi Ni Aetara with 190 million yen, and Ocean’s 13 with 187 million yen.

Michael Moore’s Sicko opened way lower than his last film Fahrenheit 911 with 25.3 million yen. In fact, looks to be only about 10% of its 257 million yen opening.

Oh, Taxi 4 opened at 7th place, at only 65% of Taxi 3’s opening. I almost forgot it opened, just like most of the world forgot this franchise still exists.

- In Chinese box office, Blood Brother loses only 13% of their opening audience, and Alfred Cheung’s Contract Lover (which I’ll be watching tomorrow) lost an astounding 9%. Could it actually be any good?

Sadly, Donnie Yen/Wilson Yip’s Flash Point ended up losing 60%

- Look what movie popped back up on the mid-week top 10 in Hong Kong? Blood Brothers! From 20 screens, the flopper made only HK$80,000, and has yet to cross the HK$1 million mark at a 6-day total of HK$760,000.

Other than that, only two films on the top 10 took in more than HK$10,000 per screen - Evan Almighty with HK$710,000 from 29 screens, and the Thai horror film Alone with HK$240,000 from 16 screens. This Thursday should see a pretty busy top 10 list, as 7 films are opening.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/28/2007

As I wrote in The Golden Gate Meets the Lion Rock, I was at the Jacky Cheung concert yesterday. So of course today I would pick a Jacky Cheung song, except I’m actually going to pick a song he DIDN’T sing. For an pop superstar like Cheung, it’s impossible for him to sing every single hits (which was probably the audience didn’t have so much patience), so there is quite a big batch to pick from. Today, it’s a cover song, which Cheung has quite a few in his long list of hits. Easily found on any compilation, it’s “Seeing You Again.”

Guess what? The original song’s name is actually the same, but I couldn’t the video, so there.

The Golden Rock - August 28th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter has a surprisingly informed (i.e. references to director’s earlier films) review of Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen’s Flash Point. Todd Brown also reviews Flash Point with mixed enthusiasm. Lovehkfilm’s Kozo chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Actually, AP’s Min Lee also chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Lovehkfilm’s Sanjuro writes a review for Nana 2, or how to ruin a franchise that couldn’t retain its actors. Lastly, there’s a review of Takashi Miike’s Ryu Go Gotoku by new guest reviewer at Lovehkfilm Jmaruyama.

- The return of Grady Hendrix’s Kaiju Shakedown is slowly rendering this blog useless. For one, he’s packed a whole weekend’s worth of Hong Kong film news into one entry, though some have already appeared here already.

- I was pretty young when I watched that animated series City Hunter on TV. Of course, with the time slot of after-midnight on Hong Kong’s TVB, it was like eating the fruit that is close to the location of the forbidden fruit (which would probably be say…porn), and it should tell you how far it has slip into the back of my mind, considering how young I was when I lived in Hong Kong. Now someone (the news didn’t specify) is bringing it back as a live-action drama with a Korean actor in the leading role.

- Taiwan is pissed because someone who writes for the Venice Film festival identified Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers as being from “Taiwan, China” while the Taiwanese art film Help Me Eros used just “Taiwan.” However, the two films are actually Taiwan/China co-productions, so could someone have just gotten lazy with their slashes?

- Apparently this is how the Japanese distributor of Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan decided to promote the film. Fitting or tasteless?

- Know how to tell that Jackie Chan is getting old? He’s hurt himself again on the set of his latest movie, but this time is because he triggered an earlier injury from another movie. Those back pains are no joke at his age.

- Another addition to the Tokyo International Film festival is Jigyaku No Uta (or “Happily Ever After) starring Miki Nakatani and Hiroshi Abe. Naturally, Kaiju Shakedown already has more.

- Aubrey Lam, whose Twelve Nights is a personal favorite, has a new film coming out called “Anna and Anna” starring Karena Lam. However, its plot description of two women in difference places that look the same sound somewhat similar to The Double Life of Veronique.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 8/28/07

Sorry for the break yesterday (I actually did write something), but I’m back today with a news post later. But first, your Asian box office report.

- In Hong Kong, only 4 of the five openers made it to the top 10 on the Sunday box office top 10. Evan Almighty is on top, having made HK$1.09 million from 29 screens for an impressive 4-day total of HK$3.97 million. Next on the openers list is the sci-fi flop The Invasion. From 28 screens, the Nicole Kidman-starring remake made an OK HK$470,000 from 28 screens for 3rd place and a 4-day total of HK$1.85 million. Third is the Thai horror film Alone with HK$260,000 from 16 screens for a HK$1.18 million 4-day gross. 4th is the Japanese animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, making HK$190,000 on 16 screens and a 4-day total of HK$600,000. It’s hard to call this a disappointment, because it actually only did solid independent film numbers in Japan as well.

So what film does that left us? The John Woo-produced Blood Brothers! Because it’s not even on the top 10, I can’t even tell how much it made on Sunday (definitely less HK$150,000 on 20 screens that aren’t even showing it all day), but Variety reports that it’s only made HK$600,000 so far. At least it’s doing pretty well in China, where they must love all that moralizing about brotherhood. Nevertheless, they already took down that huge billboard for the film at the Kowloon side of the Harbor Tunnel. Such a realistic world this is.

In holdovers, Rush Hour 3 made only HK$430,000 from 34 screens for a 11-day total of just HK$6.69 million (very bad for a Jackie Chan movie); Ratatouille is still going very very strong with HK$580,000 from 30 screens for a 25-day total of HK$23.13 million; and Jay Chou’s Secret (the secret? It kind of sucks) is still around with HK$240,000 from 22 screens on Sunday for a 25-day total of HK$12.89 million, and may very well surpasses Invisible Target’s gross. It’s considered an Hong Kong film?

- In Korea, the period film May 18 retook the top spot, bumping dragon movie D-War down the second place. The two Korean-movie-industry saviors have now attracted 6.61 million and 8 million admissions, respectively. What’s more impressive this week is actually the fact that 8 of the ten films are Korean, showing a resurgence of popularity (or just more attractive movies coming out?) for local films.

- Japanese box office numbers aren’t out yet, but the audience ranking shows that Harry Pot-tah once again takes the top spot, with Rush Hour 3 and the Japanese tear-inducing drama Life Tengoku De Kimi Ni Aetara taking the second and third spot, respectively.

Specifically, the opening for “Life” is actually pretty good, making 194 million yen over its opening weekend. That’s actually 145% of the opening for star Takao Ozawa’s previous film Bizan (which made 1.2 billion yen). However, many of these films require word of mouth to get Bizan’s numbers.

News post up next.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/28/2007

As I wrote in The Golden Gate Meets the Lion Rock, I was at the Jacky Cheung concert yesterday. So of course today I would pick a Jacky Cheung song, except I’m actually going to pick a song he DIDN’T sing. For an pop superstar like Cheung, it’s impossible for him to sing every single hits (which was probably the audience didn’t have so much patience), so there is quite a big batch to pick from. Today, it’s a cover song, which Cheung has quite a few in his long list of hits. Easily found on any compilation, it’s “Seeing You Again.”

Guess what? The original song’s name is actually the same, but I couldn’t the video, so there.

The Golden Rock - August 28th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter has a surprisingly informed (i.e. references to director’s earlier films) review of Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen’s Flash Point. Todd Brown also reviews Flash Point with mixed enthusiasm. Lovehkfilm’s Kozo chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Actually, AP’s Min Lee also chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Lovehkfilm’s Sanjuro writes a review for Nana 2, or how to ruin a franchise that couldn’t retain its actors. Lastly, there’s a review of Takashi Miike’s Ryu Go Gotoku by new guest reviewer at Lovehkfilm Jmaruyama.

- The return of Grady Hendrix’s Kaiju Shakedown is slowly rendering this blog useless. For one, he’s packed a whole weekend’s worth of Hong Kong film news into one entry, though some have already appeared here already.

- I was pretty young when I watched that animated series City Hunter on TV. Of course, with the time slot of after-midnight on Hong Kong’s TVB, it was like eating the fruit that is close to the location of the forbidden fruit (which would probably be say…porn), and it should tell you how far it has slip into the back of my mind, considering how young I was when I lived in Hong Kong. Now someone (the news didn’t specify) is bringing it back as a live-action drama with a Korean actor in the leading role.

- Taiwan is pissed because someone who writes for the Venice Film festival identified Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers as being from “Taiwan, China” while the Taiwanese art film Help Me Eros used just “Taiwan.” However, the two films are actually Taiwan/China co-productions, so could someone have just gotten lazy with their slashes?

- Apparently this is how the Japanese distributor of Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan decided to promote the film. Fitting or tasteless?

- Know how to tell that Jackie Chan is getting old? He’s hurt himself again on the set of his latest movie, but this time is because he triggered an earlier injury from another movie. Those back pains are no joke at his age.

- Another addition to the Tokyo International Film festival is Jigyaku No Uta (or “Happily Ever After) starring Miki Nakatani and Hiroshi Abe. Naturally, Kaiju Shakedown already has more.

- Aubrey Lam, whose Twelve Nights is a personal favorite, has a new film coming out called “Anna and Anna” starring Karena Lam. However, its plot description of two women in difference places that look the same sound somewhat similar to The Double Life of Veronique.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 8/28/07

Sorry for the break yesterday (I actually did write something), but I’m back today with a news post later. But first, your Asian box office report.

- In Hong Kong, only 4 of the five openers made it to the top 10 on the Sunday box office top 10. Evan Almighty is on top, having made HK$1.09 million from 29 screens for an impressive 4-day total of HK$3.97 million. Next on the openers list is the sci-fi flop The Invasion. From 28 screens, the Nicole Kidman-starring remake made an OK HK$470,000 from 28 screens for 3rd place and a 4-day total of HK$1.85 million. Third is the Thai horror film Alone with HK$260,000 from 16 screens for a HK$1.18 million 4-day gross. 4th is the Japanese animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, making HK$190,000 on 16 screens and a 4-day total of HK$600,000. It’s hard to call this a disappointment, because it actually only did solid independent film numbers in Japan as well.

So what film does that left us? The John Woo-produced Blood Brothers! Because it’s not even on the top 10, I can’t even tell how much it made on Sunday (definitely less HK$150,000 on 20 screens that aren’t even showing it all day), but Variety reports that it’s only made HK$600,000 so far. At least it’s doing pretty well in China, where they must love all that moralizing about brotherhood. Nevertheless, they already took down that huge billboard for the film at the Kowloon side of the Harbor Tunnel. Such a realistic world this is.

In holdovers, Rush Hour 3 made only HK$430,000 from 34 screens for a 11-day total of just HK$6.69 million (very bad for a Jackie Chan movie); Ratatouille is still going very very strong with HK$580,000 from 30 screens for a 25-day total of HK$23.13 million; and Jay Chou’s Secret (the secret? It kind of sucks) is still around with HK$240,000 from 22 screens on Sunday for a 25-day total of HK$12.89 million, and may very well surpasses Invisible Target’s gross. It’s considered an Hong Kong film?

- In Korea, the period film May 18 retook the top spot, bumping dragon movie D-War down the second place. The two Korean-movie-industry saviors have now attracted 6.61 million and 8 million admissions, respectively. What’s more impressive this week is actually the fact that 8 of the ten films are Korean, showing a resurgence of popularity (or just more attractive movies coming out?) for local films.

- Japanese box office numbers aren’t out yet, but the audience ranking shows that Harry Pot-tah once again takes the top spot, with Rush Hour 3 and the Japanese tear-inducing drama Life Tengoku De Kimi Ni Aetara taking the second and third spot, respectively.

Specifically, the opening for “Life” is actually pretty good, making 194 million yen over its opening weekend. That’s actually 145% of the opening for star Takao Ozawa’s previous film Bizan (which made 1.2 billion yen). However, many of these films require word of mouth to get Bizan’s numbers.

News post up next.

 
 
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