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Archive for March 4th, 2008

The Golden Rock - March 4th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! Saito-san sees its season-low ratings, as well as One Point Gospel. The Negotiator wraps up with an OK-13.2 rating (not too far below its premiere’s 16.7 rating). Meanwhile, Honey and Clover’s freefall continues to 8.0 this past week, while Bara No Nai Hanaya managed to recover slightly with a 16.5 rating. Lost Time Life stays steady, Edison No Haha saw a pretty good boost, and Sasaki Fusai No Jingi Naki Tatakai’s ratings increase didn’t last longer than a week.

- This news was first found at Eiga Consultant. The 2005 German documentary Our Daily Bread broke attendance record during its 4-month run at one Tokyo theater. Both reports contribute the film’s success to concerns about food safety for Chinese-made food, but there’s also Japan’s tendencies to put wrong expiry dates and screws in food that added to the concern.

- Meanwhile, the controversial Bollywood epic Jodhaa Akbar has now surpassed the 1 billion rupee mark at the box office. Meanwhile, courts overturned the Madhya Pradesh government’s ban, while violent protests interrupt screenings and screenings are still blocked in some regions.

In case you want to know what the hoopla is all about, Hollywood Reporter has a review.

- Under “Edison Chen’s career freefall” news today, his latest Hong Kong film Sniper has now been pushed back to May from a planned March 29th release date. However, distributor Media Asia states that it’s because the Mainland Chinese authorities has yet to approved the film, which is necessary for all co-productions (this also means the cops win by default at the end of the film).

On a side note, distributors in Taiwan for Pang Ho-Cheung’s Trivial Matters has decided to add in the advertising that this film is Edison Chen’s final film before he announced his retirement from showbiz. This is inaccurate, since he still has Sniper and possibly Stephen Fung’s Jump.

-Poor China: The EU and the United States are always bullying the poor authoritarian country. First it was over intellectual property, and now the two political giants are going to the WTO over China’s block of foreign media agencies. China granted the Xinhua News Agency with sole discretion on giving out media license to foreign organizations, which apparently blocks out other news agencies such as Reuters and Bloomberg.

- Chinese TV and film writers, inspired by their American counterparts, met up to talk about how to protect the copyrights of their intellectual property. The thing is, unlike Hollywood writers, they’re not even looking for more money: They just want their rights protected and their work respected.

- I missed out on this a few days ago when it was on Nippon Cinema: There’s a teaser out for the sequel to the kiddie-oriented live-action adaptation of Gegege No Kitaro. It seems like they’re aiming for a more serious film this time around, but trailers have been deceptive before, so I’m being extremely cautious about this one.

-  Not only will the upcoming Japanese epic sci-fi trilogy 20th Century Boys be Japan’s highest-budgeted film ever at 6 billion yen, it’s now been announced that the film will feature a cast of 300 people. In other words, expect to see a lot of “policeman #_” when the credits come up.

- I never knew that Takashi Kitano has his own awards show, AND he gives awards to his own movies there!

- With actions being taken to help the industry and a reversal of the ban on Indian films, will Pakistani cinema slowly flourish?

-  Twitch has a link to an interview with former Ghibli studio head Suzuki Toshio, who talks a bit about Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming Ponyo on a Cliff.

-  Believe it or not, Maggie Cheung has not appeared in a film since 2004, and she says she’s actually quite OK with that.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 3/3/2008

- It was a moderately busy weekend in Hong Kong box office this weekend. Dennis Law’s Fatal Move, which promised audiences old-school category-III style triad violence, managed to top the box office on Sunday, making HK$612,000 from 29 screens HK$2.15 million over the 4-day weekend. I’m just happy that it beat Meet The Spartans, which is in second place  with HK$407,000 from 31 screens for a HK$1.68 million 4-day total. Depressingly, the only other opening film to make it on the top 10 is the Hollywood romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman, which made HK$690,000 from 10 screens over the weekend (not sure if this includes the previews from the previous week). That means Jingle Ma’s Playboy Cops, the Korean film Le Grand Chef, and the Japanese horror film Kaidan all didn’t make it to the top 10.

As for holdovers, Enchanted was still at 3rd place on Sunday with 331,000 from 34 screens for a 25-day total of HK$27.44 million. 30 million may be slightly out of reach, but it’s still excellent for a film that features no recognizable star in Hong Kong (er…I guess Susan Sarandon counts?). Juno made HK$288,000 from 11 screens for a 2-weekend total of HK$2.68 million. No Country for Old Men is not far behind with HK$283,000 from 8 screens for a 2-weekend total of HK$2.01 million.

- In Japanese attendance figures, The Golden Compass knocked L off the top spot as expected.  Two animated films also hit the field, making for a very family-friendly weekend (probably due to the start of Spring vacation in Japan for kids). Meanwhile, war trial film Best Wishes For Tomorrow opened at 6th place, and Wrestling with a Memory, which I’ll be catching at the Hong Kong Film Festival, debuts at 7th place. More when the numbers come out.

 
 
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