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Archive for January 12th, 2008

The Golden Rock - January 12th, 2008 Edition

- This week, a new music chart to cover: The Taiwan G-Music chart, which makes up the retail sales of three retail chains in Taiwan. It’s updated every Friday night, so I’ll be covering them in the weekend entries.

This week, three debuts lead the charts: The new album from Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit gets 10% of total sales, Japanese diva Ayumi Hamasaki’s latest takes up 6.7%, and another boy band 5566’s latest album takes up 4.4% of total sales. Last week’s winner, TV-made boy band Lollipop (yes, I do have Channel V at home), drops down to 4th place this week with only 4% of total sales. Hong Kong-based Mandarin artist Khalil Fong’s first album in Taiwan actually went up one spot this week from a quiet 16th place debut last week, making up 0.92% of total sales (up from 0.84 % last week).

- The Hong Kong press is reporting today that Lust, Caution will not be going uncut in Japan. With strict laws about showing the pubic regions, Ang Lee’s erotic drama will go still out with an R-18 rating (no one under 18 admitted), despite suffering 6 cuts that include the now-infamous shot of Tony Leung and shots where pubic hair can be seen. While they don’t really kill the impact of the film (I suspect some shots will simply cut before it reaches the offending regions), it’s sad when any film cannot be shown in their entirety.

Source: Oriental Daily (no link), Apple Daily (who inexplicably link it with a story about the WGA awards. Maybe they ran out of space in the paper)

- Speaking of censorship, Lost in Beijing director Lu Yi talks about her film being banned after already suffering multiple cuts and a theatrical release.

- Japan Times’ Mark Schilling reviews Giniro No Season, the new film from the director of Umizaru: Limit of Love that probably won’t repeat the latter’s success.

-  In box office news, I want to correct my earlier report that Trivial Matters only made HK$2.37 million. A friend corrected me that it had made HK$3.33 million when it dropped out of the top 10. Also, some theaters previously showing the horror flop Yes, I Can See Dead People are now taking it off screens and replacing it back with more showings of Pang’s omnibus comedy. Hell, I didn’t even expect it to be playing after two weeks, which makes me happy that it’s enjoying good enough word-of-mouth to have such legs after the crowded Christmas market.

The Golden Rock - January 11th, 2008 Edition

Because of the lack of news for the weekend, I’m padding this entry with a Hong Kong box office report as well.

- It was a fairly weak Thursday opening day at the Hong Kong box office, as all the top 10 films’ gross range from HK$63,000 to HK$124,000. It’s so weak that an European horror film, The Deaths of Ian Stone, managed to take the top spot screening on 12 screens. Meanwhile, Johnnie To’s somber romantic-supernatural-drama Linger (whose Mandarin version seems to be completely missing from Hong Kong theatres, despite it being the version Johnnie To prefers) opened on 22 screens and made only HK$112,706. I don’t see it getting past HK$2 million. Lastly, the Hollywood family film Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium has the second-best per-screen average, making HK$90,000 from 10 screens.

More about the weekend next Monday or Tuesday in the Box Office report.

HK$7.8=US$1

-  Speaking of Johnnie To, actor Simon Yam is reportedly ecstatic about Sparrow heading to Berlin and competing for best actor, as he should be. What you should note is what he says about the movie:

「當然開心,這部片跟阿杜以前的電影很不同,是部很有人情味的輕鬆喜劇,我亦從來沒有做過這種角色。」

“Of course I’m happy. This film is very different from To’s earlier movies, it’s a relaxing human comedy, and I’ve never done that kind of character.”

1) Linger was supposed to be very different from To’s earlier movies. It was bad.

2) What character hasn’t Simon Yam played?

Original Chinese report here.

- Someone first passed this story to me in a email, but Screen Daily has a subscription system, so I’m relying on Variety Asia. Hong Kong box office has risen overall, though it has again fallen for Chinese films. This reports also says that there are now 192 screens for 42 theaters in Hong Kong. So now you know what a big deal it was when Spiderman 3 took 100 screens.

- Zhang Yuan is one of the few Mainland Chinese directors whose work I watch out for. Though I’ve only seen one of his films (Seventeen Years), I’ve been intrigued at a lot of his other films. That’s why it was a bit of a shocker to not only read about his supposed drug arrest, but to read that it was broadcast on national television in China. However, I smell a staged arrest to serve as an example here…

- The new Japanese film Kids, which features a really strange mustache on the usually clean Hiroshi Tamaki (see the trailer), will have a day-and-date release in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, presumably to capture the Lunar New Year box office. However, no promotion is yet underway here in Hong Kong.

- Jason Gray has a more complete list of the Kinema Junpo awards, including the individual acting and directing awards.

 
 
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