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Archive for October 23rd, 2007

The Golden Rock - October 23rd, 2007 Edition

This is going to be another relatively short entry. Quite frankly, I was expecting more news from the Tokyo International Film Festival, but we only have this so far:

- The Tokyo film market started yesterday with higher attendance. However, with the Asian Film Market just wrapped up at Pusan and the American Film Market coming up, it seems like not quite enough is happening there.

- It’s reviews time! From Variety’s Russell Edwards comes a review of Kenta Fukasaku’s horror flick X-Cross. Also from Edwards is a review of Isao Yukisada’s moderate hit/Erika Sawajiri-controversy-fodder Closed Note.

- Under “this film may very well signal the apocalypse” news today, director Rob Cohen wrote in his blog that he has taken the shoot for “The Mummy 3,” co-starring Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, and Isabella Leung, to Beijing. With a scene described as “the Dragon Emperor racing through 1946 Shanghai Bund with 4 bronze horses,” don’t be surprised that you won’t find this film in a Mainland Chinese theater near you.

- Under “Japanese animation houses” news today, otakus, anime buffs, and fans of weird Japanese films will be quite happy about the team assembled for the new animated film Red Line. Meanwhile, animation house GDH will be releasing their first live-action effort in late November.

- Satoshi Tsumabuki will actually be in a film that might be interesting (as opposed to…5 seconds in The Fast and the Furious 3): He will play a teacher in a pseudo-documentary (based on a real 1993 documentary) featuring 28 children that will actually live together and raise a pig together. The film will follow a general plot, there will not be a script.

- In a crime against cinema, there has yet to be an American distributor for the excellent Memories of Matsuko because of “its depiction of domestic violence.” If it can be a 1 billion yen-plus hit in Japan, why can’t it stand a chance in America?

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 10/23/07

- This week’s Hong Kong numbers come courtesy of Box Office Mojo, because hasn’t been doing its job for over a week now. Hence, the following covers the entire weekend rather than just Sunday.

As reported, Brothers takes the top spot over the holiday weekend with roughly HK$5.46 million from 35 screens. However, with its not-so-good word of mouth, it’s expected to take a dive this weekend and will probably wrap with under HK$10 million. Meanwhile, Lust, Caution is now at HK$35 million and may very well end with HK$40 million, making it harder for any film to even try and beat it for the rest of the year. Of course, be aware that like all films of this length, Lust, Caution is buoyed by a 10-20% ticket price inflation due to its length.

The TV drama adaptation Hero scores one of the more impressive opening weekends for a Japanese film with HK$2.21 million over 4 days from 27 screens, thanks to the now-legendary pairing of Kimura Takuya and Takako Matsu. The entertaining legal drama seems to carry pretty good word-of-mouth and maybe end up with over HK$5 million.

Also, two limited releases did fairly well in the crowded market this weekend: The British film Becoming Jane made HK$347,000 from 6 screens over 4 days, while the American hit comedy Knocked Up made HK$229,000 from 4 screens over 4 days.

- By the way, Lust, Caution’s gross dropped by 5%, despite it undergoing a 48-screen expansion to a total of 125 screens. After 4 weekends, the film’s made only roughly US$2.1 million at 20th place this weekend. No wonder James Schamus is cautious about expanding it. No pun intended.

- In South Korean box office, two big Korean films took over the box office with over 500,000 admissions each, while Resident Evil 3 could only get a 3rd place opening. Only 4 Korean films on the top 10 this week, and a surprising amount of small European films on the chart as well. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen