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Archive for January 25th, 2008

The Golden Rock - January 25th, 2008 Edition

- A few news straight from Peter Chan’s mouth: The Warlords was actually cut by several minutes in Mainland China for violence, and that is also the version that is mostly being passed around on the internet. Also, his co-producer Andre Morgan apparently took the film and made his own international cut for oversea buyers, which Chan is not very happy about because it’s being done without any input from him. Unhappy enough that now his next film Waiting is on hold while Chan takes a break for a year to  watch the “shifting marketplace.” I’m not sure if he’s lamenting, but he’s suggesting that next time he makes a mid-budget film, he will be aiming towards China, because he’s now a businessman, not a filmmaker.

Another Hong Kong filmmaker bites the dust…

- I wonder if Taiwanese producers regretting their decision to start filming a Taiwanese version of the live-action Honey and Clover series at the same time as the Japanese one. I’m asking because ratings for the Japanese one has now slid to single-digit numbers. Who knows? Chinese teenagers love (to download) their idol dramas, so this might be a hit.

-  Japanese horror director Hideo Nakata seems to be taking a turn away from the genre that made him famous with not only the upcoming Death Note spin-off L, but also his upcoming project Gensenkan, a film about a group of people who hide at a hot spring inn for different reasons.

Meanwhile, Korean director Park Chan-Wook’s vampire film will star Song Kang-Ho.

Both films will be featured at the upcoming Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum.

- Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Josie Ho from Hong Kong, in light of The Drummer’s competition slot at Sundance. Just reading that introduction (especially about her calling Chinese film executives “dick face”) makes me like her so much more.

- The Midnight Eye has posted a set of top 10 2007 Japanese films lists from several contributors well-versed in Japanese films, including Golden Rock favorite Jason Gray. Those lists just show how much more Japanese films I need to watch.

- Big news for foreigners in South Korea: CJ entertainment and Korea’s largest theater complex will offer some of the bigger films English-subtitled screenings during their release. About 4-6 films will be getting the subtitle treatment, with A Man Once Superman being the first one. How long will it take before Japan does that same? I suspect never.

- The Chinese learn the idea of irony, with a new brand being named after the most famous street in Beijing for knock-off goods. The ultimate irony? The general manager of the market that started the brand is warning people to not sell fake versions of the goods.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 1/25/2008

- Let’s look at the Thursday opening day box office in Hong Kong first: Cloverfield looks to lead the weekend again after making HK$255,000 from 36 screens on Thursday for an 8-day total of HK$5.45 million. However, bad word-of-mouth (”I don’t get it!”"It made me dizzy!”) may allow the Hollywood romantic comedy 27 Dresses catch up and hit number 1 instead, as it made HK$206,000 from 26 screens on Thursday. I hope See You in Youtube doesn’t catch up instead after making HK$218,000 from 28 screens for second place on Thursday.

There’s no wide release threatening last week’s holdovers, with The Kite Runner making the most money on opening day. From 8 screens, the film adaptation of the best-selling novel made just HK$66,000, though it may see a boost over the weekend. More on Monday when the numbers come out.


-  I completely forgot to look at the Japanese box office numbers. Looks like besides Sweeney Todd’s great opening, the documentary Earth managed to hold on to its business quite well, dropping only roughly 27 % from last week’s gross and already passing the 1 billion yen mark. Also, Season of Snow lost just 31% of its business from last week, fairly typical of most Japanese blockbusters (and that additional 200 screens is just what they didn’t compute last week, which means it didn’t gain nor lose any screens). Mr. Bean’s Holiday’s opening was also more impressive than it looks, making 107 billion yen from just 137 screens. That’s 123% of Johnny English’s opening. With the first film making 1.15 billion yen over 10 years ago, will the sequel match that gross?

However, all the big movies from December are losing audiences fast, with I Am Legend, National Treasure, and Alien Vs. Predator 2 all losing 50% of previous week’s business (though I believe I am Legend has made closer to 38 million than 3.8 million dollars).

- Lastly, someone requested me to post the top grossing films in Hong Kong in 2007. Since this blog is in Lovehkfilm, I’ll only do the top-grossing Chinese films (and there’s only one Hong Kong film if I include the foreign films anyway, and that’s Lust, Caution).  Discounting films that opened in Christmas 2006, here are the 6 top-grossing 2007 Chinese films in Hong Kong:

1)  Lust, Caution - HK$48.7 million
2) The Warlords - roughly HK$28 million
3) Protege - HK$26.53 million
4) A Battle of Wits - HK$16 million
5) Secret - HK$14.48 million
6) Invisible Target - HK$13.13 million

In perspective - Andy Lau stars in three of those

In perspective 2 - Peter Chan was involved in two of those

In perspective 3 - This is probably the first time a category-III film became a box office winner in Hong Kong

In perspective 4 - Milkyway is involved in none of those

In perspective 5 - Neither is Donnie Yen.

List courtesy of Hong Kong Film blog, though The Warlords‘ gross were estimated by yours truly. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen