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Archive for September 24th, 2007

The Golden Rock - September 24th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Variety catches up with some Hong Kong film reviews from Toronto, including a disappointingly short review by Scott Foundas for Pang Ho Cheung’s Exodus (why the hell do they keep calling it The Exodus?), and a review by Robert Koehler for Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen’s Flash Point.

- Korean director Lee So-Yeon’s Uninvited might have been a commercial flop in South Korea, but that doesn’t mean he’s not talented. His latest screenplay Hwan Gung, about a man who believes himself to be a warrior sent to send a woman who thinks she is a mermaid back to the sea, won the Busan Screenwriting Competition, which gives him a grant of 20 million won (roughly US$20,000).

- Under “I just can’t get interested in this” news today, Taiwanese idol Wu Chun will be joining the cast of Jingle Ma’s Wu Xia Liang Zhu (or a martial arts version of the classic tale Butterfly Lovers). Twins’ Charlene Choi will be playing the other ill-fated lover, and Nicholas Tse is also in talks to join as another potential suitor for Charlene’s cross-dressing character who will probably fight while hooked on some wire.

Honestly, this sounds like it’ll be a pretty shitty movie already.

- From Variety Asia is a short profile of China Film Group head Han Sanping. He’s the one that said China needs more “ethically inspiring movies” and said any China-basher is “mentally challenged.” Actually, Quentin Tarantino is still saying dumber things (look at the second-to-the-last paragraph).

- From Twitch is a few small paragraphs devoted to the Japanese comedy Maiko Haaaan!!!, which I’ll be catching this Friday night.

- Before you in the West go watch it, Ang Lee would like to tell you that his latest film will probably disappoint you and whomever you go watch it with in your local American arthouse.

- EastSouthWestNorth writes about a set of commercials for a Hong Kong theme park not named Disneyland that are freaking some people out. True, the version with both ads on Youtube isn’t all that scary, but the original version of one of them is actually pretty freaky stuff.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 9/24/07

- From the city where puppy movies go far, I should’ve seen this coming. After making just HK$110,000 from 20 screens on Thursday, the Disney animal superhero film Underdog rebounded for a pretty damn good HK$400,000 from 20 screens at the Sunday Hong Kong box office. However, after 4 days, it’s only made a total of HK$1.01 million.

Even though it’s only at 3rd place, the vigilante drama The Brave One also saw a rebound, making HK$340,000 from 30 screens for a 4-day total of HK$1.2 million. The third and final opening film on the top 10 is Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises. From 5 screens, the film made HK$50,000 at 8th place for a 4-day total of HK$160,000.

As for holdover films, 1408 is still going relatively strong, making HK$340,000 from 27 screens for a HK$4.13 million 11-day total. Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus is fading away slower than I thought (I thought it’d be way down on the top 10 by now), making HK$250,000 from 33 screens for an 11-day total of HK$3.27 million. A good example of a movie fading away is the B-action flick War/Rogue Assassin starring Jet Li. On 28 screens, it only made HK$170,000 for a 11-day total of HK$2.58 million. Expect this to make single digits mid-week.

This coming weekend is a holiday weekend for Hong Kong films, with Lust, Caution and Oxide Pang’s The Detective vying for the top spot. Lust is expected to win, despite being category III and running 159 minutes, but according to Ming Pao, who probably just sent an intern to look at the Broadway Cinema website, presales are only so-so for now. Still, I wonder if that’s a good indicator of how it’ll do this coming weekend. We won’t know until Friday.


- South Korea saw a long holiday weekend, but Mark Russell’s Korea Pop Wars was cool enough to report on how the weekend box office is currently doing (apparently, most people have work off until Wednesday). Director Kwak Kyung-taek, who hasn’t had a real bona-fide success since his breakout hit Friend, sees his latest film Love take the top spot with so-so admissions. Meanwhile, as a sign of the resurgence of Korean films (or the gradual weakening of Hollywood films), 7 of the top 10 films are again Korean.

- On the other hand, Japan saw yet another public holiday on Monday (The autumn equinox?), so no box office rankings until tomorrow. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen