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Archive for December 19th, 2007

The Golden Rock - December 19th, 2007 Edition

We took a short break with the news stuff because of the general lack of news this week. But now we’re back.

- In Japanese drama ratings, several dramas have already wrapped up. Sadly, no drama has wrapped on their season-high ratings yet. Especially disappointing is the finale to this season’s hit drama Galileo, which wrapped up with a season-low 19.6 rating, which makes me wonder what they did to piss of the viewers. Nevertheless, it’s by far the hit of the season with a 21.9 average rating overall. Abarenbo Mama also wrapped up with an OK 14.2 rating after hitting a season low last week. Meanwhile, Dream Again and Mop Girl also saw a rebound in their ratings for their final episodes, wrapping up with 11.9 and 9.4, respectively. Even the super disappointment of the season, Hatachi No Koibito, managed to recover slightly for an 8.2 rating for its finale.

That should wrap up The Golden Rock’s coverage of this disappointing Japanese drama season.

-  The nominations for the Japanese Academy Awards were announced. I was wondering where Tokyo Tower was when those other small awards were being announced, and now it shows up with a leading 13 nominations. That means it was nominated in every single category it was eligible for. While these type of films tend to end up sweeping the awards, this year there’s also Always 2, whose first installment swept that year’s awards. The hit sequel scored 12 nominations, with it not nominated only in the best actress category.

Also, there’s the current awards favorite, Masayuki Suo’s I Just Didn’t Do It, which picked up 11 nominations. With no clear leaders in the nominations (they tend to just nominate the same movies in every category, regardless whether the lighting direction in Tokyo Tower is good or not), these three will probably be be very close in awards count by award night.

Partial list on Variety Asia

Complete list (in Japanese) at the website.  I’ll try and translate it in a few days if I have time.

- Honestly, this news is even more exciting than the Japanese Academy Awards: Chow Yun Fat has just signed on to the live-action Dragonball movie to be produced by Stephen Chow. This movie just got itself some street cred.

- Almost forgot those Oricon charts. Exile ends up selling 670,000 copies of their latest album after they announced a million copies were shipped (as in shipped to stores, not sold, while V6 wins the singles chart, though Zard’s posthumous single managed to be right behind at 2nd place. Don’t be surprised if “Tupac”-like rumor starts popping up about Zard.

More details at Tokyograph.

Forget Exile, Koda Kumi is still the queen of the Oricon charts, selling 7.3 billion yen worth of CDs and DVDs in 2007. Meanwhile, Sen No Kaze Ni Natte wins best-selling single, and Mr. Children has the year’s best-selling Japanese album.

- Hong Kong’s new Film Development Council is working on greelighting the first project to use their pool of US$38.5 million. However, while the conditions about the major talents being from Hong Kong are reasonable, the ones about having at least 50% financed by private sector and the director/producer having released at least two films in the last ten years….not so fair. Oh, and they’re not even judging on artistic merit, which means a Jingle Ma comedy - commercially appealing, but probably artistically vomit-inducing - can potentially get government funding.

-While TBS opens up another new slot for drama on Saturday night at 8pm (not a prime drama slot if you ask me), Fuji TV has named their next drama at the breakout Saturday 11pm slot. Lost Time Life will be made up of 9 separate stories (running, I assume, for 9 episodes), each about how a person would choose make up the time they waste in their lives. Interesting, but potential cheesy.

That’s it, The Golden Rock is going on vacation. That means daily posts will not happen until after the new year. There’s still a few entries coming up, but this will be the last news post of the year, unless something big comes up.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 12/18/07

I decided not to write an entry last night because 1) There wasn’t enough news to cover, and 2) Most box office figures weren’t out yet, especially for the I am Legend vs. The Warlords battle in Hong Kong. Turns out those Sunday box office figures came out later last night, after I decided not to write an entry and did something more worthwhile with my time (read: stuff I get paid to do with deadlines attached). Then it was too late, as has already posted the Monday numbers. It’s ok, though, because I was blessed with the gift of subtraction.

-  Thanks to the sheer number of screens, The Warlords win over I am Legend by making HK$8.55 million over 4 days from 68-71 screens. Meanwhile, the Will Smith apocalyptic drama made HK$7.77 million from 55-61 screens (how these films gain and lose screens I have no idea). So in per-screen averages, I am Legend actually beats The Warlords. However, one excuse for that is that The Warlords runs half an hour longer than I Am Legend, hence one less show per day. That means these two are actually pretty much neck-to-neck in terms of box office success. Of course, with 10 more screens, The Warlords is going to win in pure cash, and it has much more positive word-of-mouth that Legend right now. So in the long run, I predict The Warlords will be the winner of the season, unless The Golden Compass has some latent potential.

Do remember that at least half the theaters in Hong Kong have a price inflation system for both Legend and Warlords, which means their grosses are inflated by about 5-10% than a film at normal ticket prices.

Looking at other opening films, Alvin and the Chipmunks managed to make HK$1.31 million over 4 days from about 30 screens, with business seeing a significant rise over the weekend. Considering that it already saw decreased shows per screen (I don’t remember seeing any showings for it after 8 pm), it’s a respectable figure. The French animated film Persepolis (saw this yesterday and liked it) opened on 2 screens (one with the French version, one with the English) and made a respectable HK$137,000 over 4 days.

As for holdovers, Mad Detective is hanging on, with HK$10.79 million in the bank as of Monday, and so did Lust, Caution, which still managed a HK$10,000-and-above per-screen average on Monday, despite it being released on DVD this week. Lastly, Tokyo Tower passed the HK$5 million mark, while Danny Pang’s In Love With the Dead will likely not get there with just HK$4.85 million and counting.


-  Variety Asia has a report on how The Warlords did in the other territories, including a pretty huge opening in China.

- I am Legend, meanwhile, opened on top of the Japanese box office with 580 million yen over two days from 422 screens. That opening is 115% of I, Robot’s opening, which led to a final gross of 3.75 billion yen. However, the word-of-mouth on it isn’t very good (scroll slightly down to see the vote results), but big Hollywood blockbusters tend to have some legs, and it’ll pass the 2 billion yen mark anyway.

Meanwhile, the Tamagotchi movie (yes, that Tamagotchi) opens at third place, while last week’s winner Mari and the Three Puppies loses only 18% of last week’s business. On the other hand, major fall hits Koizora and Always 2 both drop by nearly 40%. With big year-end movies opening, Tsubaki Sanjuro and Beowulf are losing their businesses big time, dropping by 36% and 53%, respectively. Neither films are likely to each the 1 billion yen mark now. Lastly, the Korean hit comedy 200 Pounds Beauty opened fairly weak at 12th place and a per-screen average of less than $1,200.

- In Korea, I Am Legend opened at first with nearly one million admissions, while Sex is Zero 2 opens at second place with a fairly impressive gross (no pun intended) as well. More details at Korea Pop Wars.

Meanwhile, in box office-related news from Korea, producers have been suffering from low ancillary income (DVD, TV, etc) as well as foreign sales. So now they’re turning to the last resort: raise ticket prices. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen