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Archive for November, 2007

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 11/6/07

- The Hong Kong websites couldn’t deliver the Hong Kong box office stats in time, so I’ll just do it myself thanks to Box Office Mojo. As predicted from the opening day gross, the relay film Triangle was a weak number 1 opener with almost HK$2.4 million from 36 screens over Thursday to Sunday. Considering the film opened with only HK$420,000 on Thursday, this means the adult audience (read: older film buffs) showed up over the weekend.

Lust, Caution passed the HK$40 million mark. Yawn.

Not sure if this is accurate, but Brothers apparently lost another 71% of its business, but at least it has gone past the HK$10 million that would qualify this as a moderate hit.

Anyone cares about how the limited releases did? Good, me neither.

- The Japanese box office was pretty huge this past weekend, as Eiga Consultant predicted correctly that Resident Evil 3 would indeed win the weekend. In fact, the third movie actually opened at 117% of the opening for the second film with 598 million yen. However, the opening for Always 2, while only at second place, was actually stronger in terms of comparing it with the series. At 474 million yen, the opening for the second film is nearly 150% of the opening of the first film, which became both a critical and a commercial hit.

The surprise is “cell phone novel” adaptation Koizora, which opened at 3rd place with 476 million yen. This is not only thanks to a dominant female audience (88% of total audience), but it was also thanks to the 10 to 20-year-old demographic, which made up 78.2% of the total audience.

Despite three big movies dominating, Takashi Miike’s Crows: Episode Zero only lost 26.5% of its audience in its second week. Blockbuster Hero is starting to lose its audience fast, losing 40% in box office gross. With 7.8 billion yen in the bank, it’s not likely the drama adaptation will hit the 10 billion yen mark Fuji had hope for, and the 15 billion forecast producer Chihiro Kameyama wants is something he made up while stoned.

- In South Korean box office, Hero opened with the highest amount of screens for a Japanese film in Korea, but with a limited target audience (read: People who know the established characters), it was nowhere near the opening for Sinking of Japan at only 128,000 admissions. Meanwhile, Le Grand Chef, which I guess you can make the vague Tezza connection because it shares the same original comic author, opens at number 1.

Once again, the top 3 films are Korean films, which suggests Korean films are taking back the year, but of course, there will always be people ready to blame the industry downturn on piracy. Still, give them credit for finally using “lack of creativity” as one of the reasons.

The Golden Rock - November 4th, 2007 Edition

- Let’s start with some AFM news:

CJ entertainment has already presold director Park Chan-Wook’s untitled vampire film to France and Russia before the director has even started shooting. Starring Song Kang-Ho, the film is about a priest who transforms into a vampire. I’m hoping it’ll be better than it sounds.

Fuji TV’s biggest movie of the market is the Stephen Chow-co-produced spin-off of Shaolin Soccer Shaolin Girl. The reason I used so many titles is because producer Chihiro Kameyama wants to make sure that no one sees it as Shaolin Soccer 2.

Thanks to the market, stills from Chung Siu-Tong’s The Empress and the Warriors, starring Kelly Chan, Leon Lai, and Donnie Yen, are popping up online. Hong Kong Film Blog points out that the armor designs seem to recall Jackie Chan’s The Myth. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t get excited about big martial arts blockbusters anymore.

While Asian film companies go to the American Film Market hoping to get their films sold, they aren’t really biting at anything Hollywood has to offer this year.

- I’m not sure if this deal was done during the AFM, but several Japanese films are heading to North America thanks to those small distributors we love so much here at The Golden Rock.

- With the low budgets of Asian films, they really will let any company make a movie these days. That includes a certain Japanese multiplex that had a “Cinema Plot Competition”. The first winning film will star a newcomer and will be directed by Rainbow Song director Naoto Kumazawa.

- Like I wrote earlier, how can China’s official film award not name their pick for the best foreign film at the Academy Awards the best film? That’s why The Knot won 2.5 awards, including best film, half of best director, and best sound.

- The biggest CD now in Chinese-speaking record stores has to be Jay Chou’s latest album (with that horrible first single), and AP News says that it’s supposed to reflect his current life. Cue paparazzi listening to every song to make up stories.

- Speaking of Jay Chou, the teaser poster for his latest “film” Kung Fu Dunk is now in Hong Kong theatres, along with a teaser on Youtube. Just the title of Kung Fu Dunk and expecting audiences to be dumb enough to still buy a movie with a title like that is flat out insulting.

Of course, it’ll probably be a huge hit.

- Speaking of movies that will suck, Kaiju Shakedown has a bunch of movies Grady expect will suck.

On the other hand, he also names a few movies that might rock, although I’ve heard that Shamo is not one of them.

- As you all know if you read the blog yesterday, the Japanese sequel Always 2 opened this weekend, and it’s being commemorated with a diorama built by the film’s crew recreating the film’s set.

- Dave Spector, an American working actively in Japanese telelvision, says that Japanese drama suck quite a bit. There are still good dramas out there, just not most of them.

- The latest Batman film - The Dark Knight - is coming into Hong Kong to film this week, but apparently a scene of Batman jumping into the harbor has been canceled because it’s so damned dirty.

The Golden Rock - November 3rd, 2007 Edition

- Time for some news on Johnnie To/Wai Ka-Fai’s latest collaboration Mad Detective. First of all, Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily reported that the category-III crime drama has secured a November 29th release date opposite Danny Pang’s In Love with the Dead.

There’s also a trailer that’s finally up. Those mirror shots are pretty impressive.

- During the box office report, I reported that the Japanese sequel Always 2 is opening this weekend, and Japan Times’ Mark Schilling has a review of it. Looks like the conclusion is “strictly for fans.”

- Meanwhile, Mr. Schilling also has a feature about the Japanese Eyes section of last week’s Tokyo International Film Festival, while Philip Brasor shares his thoughts on the films he saw.

- Fuji’s 3rd Saturday 11pm drama SP premieres tonight in Japan, and Ryuganji reports that a movie version will probably be greenlit. Then again, the drama IS directed by the director of Bayside Shakedown and written by an award-winning author, so it might be good enough to warrant one. But will the ratings be any good to warrant one?

- Just a day after I wrote about my pessimism towards Andrew Lau’s latest big-budget project, Hollywood Reporter has an interview with the unofficial spokesperson for directors with ADD Andrew Lau himself.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 11/3/07

- When I went to the showing of Tsui Hark/Ringo Lam/Johnnie To crime film Triangle, the theater wasn’t even half-full. Looking at other theaters’ bookings on the internet, I really thought it would be a flop. However, looking at its Thursday opening day box office, it actually did alright. From 36 screens (seriously, did it deserve 36 screens?), the relay film made HK$435,000. With any luck, it may go past HK$2 million by the end of the weekend, but I doubt it’ll do any better than your usual Milkyway film.

Meanwhile, the only other wide release is the Hollywood action flick Shoot ‘Em Up, which made only HK$60,000 from 20 screens. As for the limited releases, the European arthouse flick Silk made HK$30,000 from 4 screens, and the Taiwanese youth pic Summer’s Tail only made HK$20,000 from 7 screens.

Lust, Caution, meanwhile, has probably passed the HK$40 million mark by now, and will probably remain the highest-grossing Chinese film of the year unless The Warlords comes in and beat it. However, that’s not all that likely at this point.

- In Japan, Eiga Consultant predicts that Resident Evil 3 will actually beat Always 2, the sequel to the hit Japanese nostalgia film, this weekend. This is because Resident Evil 2 had a far better opening than Always 1. For realz? What about the power of Always as an established franchise?

The Golden Rock - November 2nd, 2007 Edition

- Variety Asia, after their “10 actors to watch out for” feature, now has a “10 cinematographers to watch for” feature. While three of them are Asian, none of them work in Asian films.

Rain Li
Tetsuo Nagata
Larry Fong

- It’s reviews time! Jason Gray has a review of Takashi Miike’s box office hit Crows: Episode Zero, which he seemed to have enjoyed. Meanwhile, Variety has a few reviews for films from the Tokyo International Film Festival: Russell Edward’s reviews for Bloody Snake Under the Sun and Negative Happy Chainsaw Edge. Working busier than ever, there’s also Edwards’ review for festival winner United Red Army.

- After making a failed attempt into Hollywood (considering it’s been done forever, was finished by its star, and still hasn’t seen a release date in North America, The Flock is a failure already), Andrew Lau manages to continue conning Media Asia into giving his a ton of money for a movie. This time he will direct the first of a trilogy of films based on the famed Chinese novel The Water Margin, with him producing the second film, to be directed by Johnnie To (Andrew Lau producing for Johnnie To?). Maybe I’m being really cynical about this, but it’s really hard for me to get excited about a big-budget Andrew Lau film.

- In more Lust, Caution news, the Mainland Chinese version, cut by Ang Lee himself and took 6 revisions before it passed, finally opened in China. EastSouthWestNorth has a translation of a Mainland Chinese article that discusses the difference between the two, despite a rumored mandate from the Central Publicity Department to not discuss the differences.

- Lastly (to save news for the rest of the weekend), there’s a third and probably final trailer for Peter Chan Ho-Sun’s The Warlords, which currently seems to be the only Chinese film in the Hong Kong market for Christmas. As expensive and star-packed as it seems, I can’t get myself excited for this one either for some reason. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen