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Archive for December 10th, 2007

The Golden Rock - December 10th, 2007 Edition.

 Since we did do that minute-by-minute coverage of The Golden Horse Awards, I guess we should probably link you to the complete list of winners.

- Ahead of the award ceremony, Ang Lee also admitted that he made one important edit in the Mainland Chinese version of Lust, Caution at the request of the Chinese censors to make the heroine seem less sympathetic to Chinese traitors.

- Let’s look at the Japanese TV drama ratings. As previewed last week, Galileo dipped below 20% rating for the first time all season, though only to a 19.9 rating. It’s no disaster yet, but it’s still the lowest rating of the season, though its average rating is still at 22%. Other dramas that saw their season-lows this past week: Abarebo Mama (at 11.0), Suwan No Baka (at 6.8), Hataraki Man (which dropped ALL THE WAY to 7.9 from 13.2 the previous week), Kimpachi Sensei (at 7.1), Joshi Deka (at 7.1), Mop Girl (at 9.2), and as always - Hatachi No Koibito (at 6.4).

On a positive note, Iryu 2 is on an upswing, with its ratings going up for a second week in a row. Utahime is also climbing a slow road up, and SP is still as solid as ever with a 14.6 rating.

- As I report once in a while in my box office reports, Hong Kong theatres inflate ticket prices for films that run longer than 135-140 minutes (because it means less shows). It seems like they will be doing the same for the holiday season for films that don’t even run at that length. According to Hong Kong Film Blog, one theater is setting a policy where all ticket prices will go up by 5 dollars from the 18th to January 1st. While this theater is enacting the policy because of theater policy, another theater chain is only increasing ticket prices for the two biggest films of the season and blames the distributor for the increase. So who’s the villain? Theater chains or distributors?

- I saw Maiko Haaaan!!! at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival and thought it was hilarious (A real review is still in the works).  However, not all of its humor will translate outside of the Japanese language (which is probably why there’s no Hong Kong distributor for it yet), Nevertheless, American distributor/champion of eccentric Japanese films Viz Pictures will be releasing the films in the United States in March.

- John Woo’s enormous and troubled epic The Battle of Red Cliff finally wrapped principal photography, though second unit photography is continuing until February. And by troubled, we mean there were rumors of deaths on the set, though producer Terence Cheng denies them.

- As the Korean Wave begins to recede, a new Japanese wave is slowly hitting the shore of Korea, as 21 films in the past 2 years were actually based on original Japanese content, much higher than the 5 produced between 2001-2005. Does it have anything to do with cramming too much into a marketplace that doesn’t have enough talents to begin with?

- Similar to the Animatrix project, Three Japanese animation house will produce several short animated films ahead of the release for that latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 12/10/07

- The Hong Kong Sunday numbers are out (seemingly coming out earlier and earlier after went down for good), and Mad Detective takes the weekend again. It didn’t see a very big drop, as the Johnnie To/Wai Ka-Fai film made another HK$806,000 from 36 screens on Sunday for an 11-day total of HK$8.55 million. It’s extremely likely that the film will pass the HK$10 million mark, making it Milkyway’s most successful film since the Election flicks, which were also the last Milkyway category III (no one under 18 admitted) films.

In Love With the Dead, the latest from Danny Pang (of the Pang Brothers), also managed to hang on to second place in the second weekend. However, it only made HK$290,000 from 31 screens on Sunday for an 11-day total of HK$4.29 million. It will likely wrap up its run with a take similar to brother Oxide’s The Detective (I predicted last week that it wouldn’t). More astonishing is the staying power of the Japanese tearjerker Tokyo Tower, which made another HK$220,000 from 12 screens for a 25-day total of HK$4.56 million. With steady word-of-mouth, it may even surpass the Hong Kong gross for Kimura Takuya’s Hero when it’s all over. Meanwhile, the Hollywood comedy The Heartbreak Kid is also enjoying a healthy run as it stays in 3rd place on Sunday with HK$247,000 from 25 screens for an 18-day gross of HK$5.15 million.

The weekend’s only opener on the top 10 is Robert Benton’s Feast of Love, which did OK with HK$124,000 from 10 screens for a 4-day total of HK$450,000. Golden Horse winner Lust, Caution is still alive and well with HK$133,000 from 10 screens on Sunday for a 75-day total of HK$47.65 million, inching ever-so-slowly to HK$48 million. Still, I don’t expect it to pass the HK$50 million mark. Lastly, Andrew Lau’s Hollywood debut The Flock made just HK$42,000 from 16 screens for a 11-day total of just HK$650,000.

Speaking of Hong Kong directors in Hollywood, the Hong Kong Film blog actually mentions that Hong Kong directors’ Hollywood debut don’t fare well in Hong Kong anyway. For instance:

John Woo’s Hard Target - HK$2.56 million

Ringo Lam’s Maximum Risk - HK$2.38 million

Tsui Hark’s Double Team - HK$3.79 million

Ronny Yu’s Warriors of Virtue - HK$430,000

Kirk Wong’s The Big Hit - HK$1.32 million

Peter Chan’s Love Letter - HK$870,000

and of course, to add my own figures - The Pang Brothers’ The Messengers made around HK$4-5 million earlier in the year.

- In South Korea, the Hollywood family flick August Rush (partly financed by CJ Entertainment) made the top spot again, now with 826,000 admissions after two weekends. Lust, Caution continues to roll with over 1.6 million admissions, and expected to continue growing after its wins at the Golden Horse Awards. More over at Korea Pop Wars.

- In Japanese attendance charts, Always 2 have been bumped off its number 1 spot to third place by the new family film A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies (A family film with dogs in natural disasters), while Koizora stays at number 2.  Everything below that moves down one place. We’ll see how much business they lost in a day or two. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen