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Archive for November 20th, 2007

The Golden Rock - November 20th, 2007 Edition

- Jackie Chan is an unpredictable man - He bashes his own movies on his blog, justifying their existence and his appearance in them with the “I need the money” excuse. Next thing you know, he’s starting a production company with the director of one of those hack films. Why, Jackie, why do you do this to us?

- Under “TV dramas no one asked for” news today, China’s Huayi Brothers reportedly bought the rights to make a 30-episode adaptation of Ang Lee’s erotic espionage drama Lust, Caution after they realize even the censored version is making a ton of money. No other details have emerged so far.

- Speaking of Chinese TV cashing in, advertisers are bidding for spots up on CCTV 9 months early for the Olympics, including foreign advertisers such as KFC, Johnson & Johnson, and Red Bull.

- Hong Kong and Malaysian police, in what seems to be separate operations, raided and arrested pirated disc producers. Among the films confiscated in the Hong Kong bust? Lust, Caution, the movie with the ultra-high-security policy set in for Hong Kong cinemas.

It’s hard to believe, but I still see pirate vendors actually standing on sidewalks selling DVDs here in Hong Kong. Basically, they have a portable fold-out box with several guys standing around the vicinity as lookouts while they sell in front of high-volume areas.

- That Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung certainly works fast: After seeing his somewhat controversial-but-intentionally-underwhelming dark comedy Exodus released in September, his omnibus film Trivial Matters already has a release date of December 20th. By “his” omnibus film, I mean it’s a collection of 7 stories that Pang wrote himself and will be adapting to film all by himself. That’s 3 semesters’ worth of film school projects right there.

The “bad news” part of all this? I’m going on vacation ON December 20th for 2 weeks. That means I’ll be sadly missing it for sure.

- There’s no huge high-profile world premiere, but the first Kuala Lampur International Film Festival has 22 films from 18 countries, living up to their intention of “celebrating cultural diversity”.

- Sonny Chiba, who co-directed a film earlier in the year under his Japanese name Shinichi Chiba, has announced he will not only start directing movies under a different name from now on, he will also continue his acting career under yet another name.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 11/20/07

- Those Hong Kong Sunday box office numbers are out, and at least two of my predictions were correct. Beowulf did indeed take the top spot with a strong HK$1 million from 40 screens, although the IMAX and 3D showings, which account for at least 4 screens in Hong Kong, are charging people double the money for the film. The animated film has a respectable 4-day total of HK$3.72 million.

I was right about Bullet and Brain, which didn’t see any significant rise in box office with a HK$210,000 take from 27 screens on Sunday, making its weekend take HK$940,000. This caused it to be bumped to 4th place, thanks to a dramatic increase for Tokyo Tower (HK$330,000 from 13 screens with no ticket price inflation for a 4-day total of HK$1.06 million) and the continuing strong showing by Lust, Caution. With another HK$250,000 from 31 screens in the bank, Ang Lee’s erotic espionage drama managed to cross the HK$45 million line on Sunday.

Derek Kwok’s The Pye-Dog (which I saw today and sadly was not blown away by) did slightly better during the weekend with just HK$130,000 from 28 screens on Sunday. After 4 days, the character drama with Eason Chan has made only HK$750,000, including previews. The weekend’s other limited release is David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises did OK, with HK$62,000 from 5 screens on Sunday for a 4-day take of HK$200,000. I’m contemplating whether to go watch it as I type now.


- Japanese box office figures also came out from Box Office Mojo. At roughly the same exchange rate from last week (anything less than a 1 yen-difference would be considered roughly the same around here), The Sky of Love dropped by only a modest 23%. It’s set to pass the 2 billion yen mark probably by yesterday, and on par to pass the 3 billion yen mark as well. Meanwhile, now I realized that I screwed up with reading the rankings yesterday and reported that Always 2 is at 3rd place. With a drop of 34%, the hit sequel is actually at 2nd place with a current total of 2.19 billion yen and will definitely surpass the first film’s gross.

With a drop of 44%, I may be wrong about The Bourne Ultimatum being a big hit, but at least I’ll be right about it passing the 1 billion yen-mark. A number someone should verify is the screen count of the Yakusho Koji starrer Zo No Naka. Somehow, the film managed to lose 260 screens and now has a huge per-screen average. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen