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The Golden Rock - March 20th/21st, 2008 Edition

First, more news from the wrapping Hong Kong Filmart:

- The American economy is on its way down, but the Asian film industry says it ain’t got nothing to do with them.

- After 11 years, Filmart is now a viable launching pad for Chinese blockbusters, though the Chinese censoring body has spoiled the party for everyone. Sylvia Chang revealed herself to Oriental Daily that the film that was told to re-apply as an import rather than a co-production.

- Professor David Bordwell writes about the films he’s seen and the people he’s met at this year’s events.

- One of the events at Filmart is the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum, and Pang Ho-Cheung has won top Hong Kong Project award again this year for his proposed project The Bus (However, his other two awarded projects appear yet to be made).

- Bey Logan says Japanese movies should open themselves up to the world so that they can survive when the bubble bursts. I have my own doubts about the need for that.

- Twitch’s Todd Brown roams and share the promos he’s seen at the film market.

- Variety’s Grady Hendrix also shares info about the promos he’s seen at the film market.

- In fact, I waited so long to post this entry that Hollywood Reporter has already posted their wrap-up of the market.

And now, some number crunching:

- Japanese box office numbers have come out, showing that Enchanted scored a fairly huge opening (more on that later). Also, the other three family films on the top 10 (not counting The Golden Compass) dropped fairly little between 24.7% to 32% or so.

Oscar winner No Country For Old Men made 43.46 million yen from 41 screens on its opening weekend, which is damn good. It’s so good that it’s actually 152% of the opening for An Inconvenient Truth (which I’m sure is an inconvenient truth for that film’s distributor. Yes, I know it’s a bad pun).

Actually, Enchanted’s reported opening also includes last weekend’s preview screenings, so the 583 million yen gross isn’t exactly a three-day gross. However, Eiga Consultant did compare it with Ratatouille, which had the same release pattern. Turns out Enchanted still comes out on top, opening at 107% of the Pixar film’s gross.

- It’s Japanese music charts time! The Oricon and the Billboard Hot 100 charts are fairly similar, except Tetsuro Yamashita’s single got a bit of a bump on the Billboard because of its high position on the Radio Airplay chart. On the singles chart, Johnny’s Kanjani takes the top spot, as Namie Amuro’s latest stays fairly behind at 2nd, though it sold quite well. On the album chart, Kou Shibasaki’s compilation wins the day, while Ken Hirai scores a second place debut with his latest.

More over at Tokyograph.

- Doraemon has been picked as Japan’s animation ambassador, which I think it’s pretty damn cool as a lifelong Doraemon fan.

- Music show is a major part of many major Japanese TV networks: Fuji TV has Hey Hey Hey, and TBS has Music Station. However, NTV has apparently been without one with its primetime lineup for 18 years, though now that’s about to change. It even answers a question that I forgot to ask for years: What happened to Noriko Sakai?

By the way, keep checking the spin-off for those HKIFF reports.

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