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Archive for October 8th, 2007

The Golden Rock - October 8th, 2007 Edition

Tons more news Pusan Film Festival news today:

- The Asian Film Market is kicking off, but like we mentioned yesterday, both attendance and market screenings are going down.

- Meanwhile, a bunch of production/co-operation deals are going down: the Korean Film Council and the British Film Council have teamed up to help distribute each other’s movies in each other’s countries, namely in publicity support. Also, the film festival has become the launching pad for Taiwanese international sales firm Joint Entertainment, who hopes to bring Taiwanese films abroad to different film markets.

Also, from last week is a set of features about the Taiwanese film industry - a slate of upcoming releases, the slow action by the government to help the struggling film industry (sounds a bit like Hong Kong to me), and the industry’s own attempts to put away its arthouse label in recent years.

Other project announcements includes Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s latest project, a period martial arts film (12-minute long one-take fight scene?), and a Taiwan-Korean co-production from Eternal Summer director Leste Chen.

With so many Korean-another Asian country co-productions going on, it seems like the Korean industry is learning the only way to ensure its survival is to play nice with others.

Now, back to your regular programming:

- Takashi Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django has run into some problems with the Shintoists in Japan because of an image of people hanging from the shinto gate. While Sony has removed the offending image from all of its promotional materials, the shot remains in the film.

- There’s a bit of confusion going on about whether the Hong Kong relay-crime film Triangle was really re-edited after its Cannes screening. While the various reviews at Cannes put the film at 100 minutes (a running time they probably got from the booklet), Hong Kong’s Television and Entertainment Authority (who give ratings with exact running times on the certificates) puts the film at 93 minutes. I doubt the film runs exactly at 100 minutes, especially when the rules stipulated that each section needs to run at 30 minutes.

- Universal, who is already co-releasing the Japanese action flick Midnight Eagle in Japan, has also signed on to release the film in North America. However, the trailers have left me fairly cold, so how are they going to be selling in to American audiences?

(Yes, I know the trick answer is: they don’t try to tell it. They just keep in on the shelves a couple of years, then release it straight to DVD with some sexy woman on the cover)

- Lastly, Jackie Chan does something he doesn’t whine about on his blog: A Japanese commercial with model/actress/singer Aya Ueto.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 10/8/07

- There was no Friday update of the hong Kong box office, so I couldn’t predict what happened yesterday. On Sunday box office in Hong Kong, Lust, Caution continued to perform extremely well, earning HK$1.9 million from 61 screens. After 12 days, Ang Lee’s erotic thriller has already made an amazing HK$22.76 million. According to the Hong Kong Film Blog, it’ll beat Basic Instinct as the highest-grossing category-III film in history (no one under 18 may be admitted) once it grosses an additional HK$5 million, which will probably happen by the weekend.

From the same distributor in Hong Kong is last week’s only opening film Resident Evil. On 36 screens, the second sequel from the sci-fi horror series made HK$1.4 million for a 4-day total of HK$5.27 million. Continuing with a bit of legs is Oxide Pang’s The Detective, which is hanging on with another HK$310,000 on 28 screens. After 11 days, the mystery thriller has made HK$4.53 million. The Hong Kong loser from last week’s mid-autumn festival Beauty and the 7 Beasts limped through Sunday with just HK$100,000 from 14 screens for just HK$2.37 million after 12 days. Quite frankly, I’m even surprised that this got past HK$2 million.

- In North America, Lust, Caution expanded by 16 screens to the other major cities, and it made $369,000 at 26th place for a per-screen average of $21,705. However, I don’t expect it to have any commercial success later on due to the NC-17 rating and the not-so-positive reviews from Western critics.

- In Korean box office, Hur Jin-Ho’s Happiness (which looks kind of blah to me, and I’m a fan. Then again, I don’t understand a word of Korean) led the charts with 583,000 admissions, while Rush Hour 3 flopped with a 2nd place opening with just 354,000 admissions. This week, 5 of the 10 films on the top 10 were Korean, though most of the Hollywood films were just holdovers.

The Golden Rock Song of the Week - 10/7/07

This week’s song is more for the album than the song itself. A month ago, I bought a compilation named Tokyo Cafe Vol. 2, which I guess plays songs that would recreate the feeling of being in a cafe in Tokyo. Even though it opens with a Lisa Ono song, the rest of the album isn’t quite like that. It combines R&B, acoustic guitar pieces, and even old pop songs like today’s song. You can find it on the Tokyo Cafe compilation as track 3, or find it on a compilation by the group, it’s Original Love’s “Kiss.” Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen