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The Golden Rock - May 8th, 2008 Edition

- Finally got some Japanese box office numbers in, although it only covers Saturday and Sunday, which was the middle of the Golden Week holidays. As a result, most of the movies on the chart saw a rise from their previous weekend’s gross. For example, Shaolin Girl saw a 20% boost and has now grossed 715 million yen, despite a somewhat weak opening last weekend. But of course, the biggest boosts went to the kid-friendly films such as Conan (20.3%), Crayon Shin-Chan (27.7%), and The Spiderwick Chronicles (17.7%). However, the Masked Rider movie took a drop instead, losing 23.4% of business despite not losing any screens. Hollywood flick 10,000 B.C. also lost business, presumably because theaters put the more popular films on bigger screens and moved this to smaller ones.

- With its first hit in two years, Toei is now crossing their fingers on God’s Puzzle, Takashi Miike’s latest, to rebound them from what was their worst fiscal year in 20 years.

- Meanwhile, The Forbidden Kingdom has done solid business in China, making 150 million yuan since its release in late April already, partly thanks to the holiday last week.

- Things are not doing so well in Korea, where theaters saw April’s performance as the lowest monthly attendance figures since April 2003.

- However, local performance is not stopping them from taking their award-nominated films for a special showing in Japan.

- Earlier in the week, I mentioned that the Chinese distributor for the new Donnie fantasy film Painted Skin already estimated a final box office take simply based on screen counts. Now, the investors are so confident that not only did they already plan two sequels, they already assume they’re successful enough to raise the budget and get Zhang Ziyi for the second movie.

- The Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which had its first year in Australia last year, is now adding an academy, with all the nominees from last year’s awards being included with voting powers for this year’s awards.

-  There’s a short teaser for the omnibus movie Tokyo!, though it doesn’t really show anything from any of the three films, which will get their premiere at Cannes this year.

- A Spanish film buyer has bought their first Asian film, and…it’s Taiwanese torture porn?

-  Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee turns in a review for Sylvia Chang’s Run Papa Run.

-  Chinese president Hu Jintao told Japanese reporters that his favorite Japanese TV drama is the popular 80s morning drama Oshin. It would’ve been great if he said anything with Kimura Takuya in it, but alas, that was not to be.

- My boy Jero has now joined the ranks of popular Japanese pop stars - he’ll be the spokesman for a new line of canned coffee.

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