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The Golden Rock - December 5th, 2007 Edition

Before we go on to our usual Wednesday posts (Oricon charts), let’s look at how Johnnie To/Wai Ka-Fai’s Mad Detective is doing mid-week.

- On Tuesday discount day in Hong Kong, Mad Detective kept going strong with nearly HK$620,000 from 35 screens for a 6-day total of HK$5.01 million. With this pace and almost no competition this coming weekend, this could become the most successful Milkyway film since summer’s Hooked on You, and may even be Milkyway’s first film to hit the HK$10 million mark since the Election flicks. Everything else did not so well. Maybe more this weekend if now.com uploads the Thursday numbers.

-The Oricon charts were pretty quiet this week, with Tokio’s new single winning the top spot by selling just 46,000 copies. Erika Sawajiri, seemingly still trying to recover from her PR nightmare a few months ago, could only sell 26,000 copies of her latest single for a 7th place debut.

On the albums chart, Kazumasa Oda beats his own record by being the oldest artist to have a number 1 album with his latest, selling 176,000 copies in the first week.

More details at Tokyograph

- Yoshimitsu Morita’s remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Tsubaki Sanjuro might have debut at 4th place with just 160 million yen, but its opening was 54% of the opening for Yoji Yamada’s Love and Honor, which made a total of 4 billion yen. As for the audience breakdown, Eiga Consultant reports that the male-female ratio is 39:61 (!!!), those in their 40s made up 37.1 % of the audience, those in their 30s took up 22%, and those in their 20s took up just 17.2 %. Not sure how old those other 23.7% of the audience was, though.

When polled why they decided to watch it, 28.2% of the audience said it was because they were fans of star Yuji Oda, and 25.8% thought the content looked interesting. Period dramas such as Tsubaki Sanjuro tend to have stronger legs in the long run, so it looks like it will make it to 1 billion after all. It all depends on word-of-mouth, as is the case for most films in Japan that couldn’t open big.

- All Soi Cheang fans out there take note: his latest film Shamo, which has been stuck in limbo since it played at the Cannes market, is not likely to be released until March 2008, despite scoring 3 nominations at the Golden Horse Awards.

- Under “waste of time in a society based on timeliness” news today, you can watch Japanese comedy clips while waiting for your drink to come out of the vending machine. Does that mean now it’ll take 30-60 seconds for a drink to come out of the damn vending machine?

- It’s reviews time! From Variety’s Russell Edwards (this guy seems to make a daily appearance in this blog) is a review for Matsuo Suzuki’s Welcome to the Quiet Room. From Twitch/Lovehkfilm guest reviewer JMaruyama is a review of the hit Japanese drama Hero.

- I wonder if any fans of Korean movies ever sat there and thought that Korea needed disaster movies, because those people just had their wishes come true.

- Courtesy of Jason Gray, the website for Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film Ponyo on a Cliff is now open. However, there’s not much on it.

- Twitch has a trailer for the Korean serial killer flick Rainbow Eyes. And that’s all I have to say about that.

- NHK last scored a huge hit with Korean drama star Bae Yong-Joon when they aired Winter Sonata. Nearly 4 years later, they’re hoping for another hit with his latest period drama The Four Guardian Gods, which will also play in Japanese cinemas on a weekly basis in addition to the TV airings.

- Last week, we reported several Taiwanese films flopping on home turf and elsewhere. Kaiju Shakedown now introduces a few non-teen-targeted Taiwanese films this year, not including the two we mentioned last week.

- The Japan Media Arts Festival revealed their winners, with the sleeper animated hit Summer Days With Coo winning the grand prize in the Animation Division. The more surprising winner is Wii Sports picking up the Grand Prize in the Entertainment division.

- Under “Just for kicks” news today, here’s a clip of the least talented person to go on Bistro Smap ever. By the way, they call that bubble bursting thing “Paris Reaction,” which I can you can say the same for quite a few guys. Not me, though.

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