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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.


-  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:


“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.

2 Responses to “The Golden Rock - January 11th, 2008 Edition”

  1. Munin Says:

    Regarding Sparrow, I think it’s important to make a distinction here - Linger seems to be To in commercial mediocrity mode, whereas he has worked on Sparrow for multiple years now, making it seem like a true labour of love. And if we go by that formula (i.e. look back on PTU, which also took several years), then it might just turn out pretty well.

  2. GoldenRockProductions Says:

    Hi, Munin,

    You do bring up a good point. Plus, I think Johnnie To is better at quirky comedies than romantic dramas. Just look at his portion of Triangle.

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