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Archive for November 27th, 2007

The Golden Rock - November 27th, 2007 Edition

- Takeshi Kitano appears on Japanese TV in variety shows often enough already, but audiences still can’t get enough of him: His latest acting role in a made-for-TV miniseries scored an average of 23.75 rating over Saturday and Sunday nights. That’s an even higher average rating than the highest-rated drama this season, and it was on the weekend.

- This isn’t a political blog, and this news isn’t meant to be political, but am I right in saying that a documentary that asserts the Japanese WWII war criminals are the equivalent of the seven samurais is probably a little absurd?

- It’s trailers time! Both courtesy of Twitch today- First, the English-subtitled trailer for the Thai action-fantasy film Siyama (yes, there’s supposed to be time traveling elements in the film that is completely ignored in the trailer). Then, the non-subtitled trailer for the gross-out Korean sex comedy Sex is Zero 2. You can already tell it’ll be grosser than the first film, which doesn’t necessarily make me want to watch it.

- Courtesy of Kaiju Shakedown are 5 clips from Pang Ho-Cheung’s latest film(s) Trivial Matters. With bong-smoking, swearing, and talk about oral sex, I’d be surprised if they can get away with a II-B this time.

- I’m starting to hate my vacation dates: Not only will I be missing Trivial Matters (unless it’s such a big hit and it plays through New Years), I’ll also be leaving Japan the day before the Nodame Cantabile special is scheduled to air on Japanese TV. D’oh!

- At least I’ll be back on time to see the new digital broadcast by Hong Kong free TV stations. Of course, I’ll have to first sink some money for a digital decoder or buy a HDTV. Which means I’ll probably be missing out anyway.

- Under “they mean really well” news today, the Beijing Film Academy produced a documentary about the China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe, and even took it to the American Film Market. However, despite some interest, it couldn’t find any buyers and it won’t even premiere in its homeland until March.

Meanwhile, Thai filmmakers are making their final protest calling for modification to the new Thai Film and Video Act, which could bring further censorship into the film system, despite the addition of a ratings system.

- Remember Lost in Beijing, the much-edited Chinese film that was forced to remove multiple scenes (including shots of dirty Beijing streets) before it cleared the censor board? The uncensored version was shown on Hong Kong screens (with a category III rating, which meant “no one under 18 allowed), and the censored version will finally be shown on Chinese screens with a wide release this week. Apparently, the critical nature of Chinese society remains in the film.

The European Union is getting more and more impatient with China over piracy, to the point that they’re threatening to go the principal’s office World Trade Organization about it.

- Huge Chinese blockbusters are not even going to premiere at the People’s Auditorium anymore: Now they’re going premiere in Olympic-sized venues!

- The Chinese father-and-son drama The Red Awn picked up the top prize at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 11/27/07

- Finally have the Sunday box office numbers from Hong Kong. The Ben Stiller Hollywood comedy The Heartbreak Kid did better than I expected, making HK$600,000 from 25 screens on Sunday, considering that advertising for the film didn’t really start until about 2 weeks ago. It has a 4-day total of HK$1.91 million. Beowulf manages to hang on to second place with HK$530,000 from 39 screens for a 11-day total of HK$6.5 million, which is OK but not spectacular. It also bumped The Kingdom down to third place with HK$390,000 from 27 screens for a HK$1.38 million 4-day total.

As expected, Tokyo Tower managed a rebound during the weekend and made HK$280,000 from 12 screens for a 11-day total of HK$2.37 million, while Bullet and Brain is nearly gone with just HK$91,000 from 20 remaining screens for a 11-day HK$2.37 million total. Even worse is The Pye-Dog, which made only close to HK$50,000 (this is rounded up already) from 19 screens for just HK$1.13 million after 11 days. And you can forget about Aubrey Lam’s Anna and Anna, which made only HK$20,000 (again, it’s been rounded up) from 5 screens for a 4-day total of……ta-da! HK$70,000.

- The Japanese box office numbers have also come in, and it shows that Always 2 took the top spot by making 2% more money than the previous week. For a film in the 4th week to do so is pretty amazing, even if it was a holiday weekend. Meanwhile, Koizora is still doing fairly well, losing less than 18% of business and moved past the 2.5 billion yen mark already. Midnight Eagle’s 185 million yen opening isn’t particularly bad, but definitely disappointing considering the expectations put on it. Even that per-screen average tells you that people just weren’t very interested in it. Next week will determine whether it’ll pass the 1 billion yen mark.

Looks like the screen count has been corrected for Zo No Senaka, so it actually lost a few more screens for this past weekend.

BONUS: Taiwanese box office:

- This is not really to show which movie is selling at number 1 or number 2 (It’s Beowulf and The Heartbreak Kid, by the way), but rather to see how Taiwanese films are doing on their home turf. 1) The youth drama Summer’s Tail had a limited release in Hong Kong and did fairly badly. It seems to be happening in Taiwan as well, where it lost 88% of its business and half of its screens in the second weekend. 2) The Most Distant Course, starring Guey Lun-Mei, opened at a moderate 7th place 4 weeks ago, but has since made only NT$2.9 million.

The Golden Rock - November 26th, 2007 Edition

 - It’s Japanese drama ratings time! A total of 12 dramas hit their season-low ratings. They include Joshi Deka (season-high:  13.4, season-low: 7.8), Iryu 2 (season-high: 21.0, season-low: 14.1), Uta Hime (season-high: 9.8, season-low: 6.7), Dream Again (season-high: 12.9, season-low: 8.4), Hatachi No Koibito (season-high: 13.0, season-low: 6.4), and Abarenbo Mama (season-high: 15.3, season-low: 11.1).

On the other hand, Fuji dramas Galileo and SP remain fairly strong, and NTV’s Hataraki Man saw a pretty big rebound from last week’s 10.1 to this week’s 12.7. Still, things are pretty bleak overall.

All drama information can be found at Tokyograph 

-  It’s OK, Don, you did get this news first. Bayside Shakedown producer Chihiro Kameyama, who seems to be the only hitmaker for Fuji TV these days, will be teaming up with Bayside Shakedown screenwriter Ryoichi Kimizuka for a new police drama that does not have anything to do with the Bayside Shakedown series (contrary to the image on the main Variety Asia website). Dare Mo Mamotte Kurenai will star Japan’s favorite 14 year-old (fictional) mother Mirai Shida as the sister of a suspected murderer who is being protected by the cop who is also gathering evidence against her brother.

Kimizuka will be directing, his second film after the Bayside Shakedown spinoff The Suspect.

- In more Japanese drama-related news, Korean heartthrob Kwon Sang-Woo announced that he will be acting in a Japanese drama for Fuji TV that he would like to call a “Korean version of Notting Hill.” Blah.

- Peter Chan’s The Warlords is one of the biggest investments ever in the history of Chinese cinema. Turns out nearly half the damn budget went to the cast, including US$13 million for Jet Li.

- FilMeX wrapped up in Japan, and Hong Kong’s Milkyway is walking away as the big winner, with Yau Nai-Hoi’s Eye in the Sky winning the Special Jury prize and Johnnie To’s Exiled winning the audience award.

- Gong Li has taken up the lead for the Hollywood film Shanghai along with John Cusack. She’ll play some mysterious woman involved with the underworld, or something like that.

Anyway, the film will be directed by 1408’s Mikael Hafstrom and is expected to be released in 2009.

- Nothing to do with Asian entertainment, but I just thought it was kind of cool. Here’s a clip of newly elected Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaking Mandarin in a television interview with a Chinese TV station during his campaign. Rudd was a diplomat in China and started studying Mandarin when he was in college in the 70s. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen