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Archive for May 13th, 2008

The Golden Rock - May 13th, 2008 Edition

- It’s disappointments all around. Let’s start with the Hong Kong box office. Since yesterday was a public holiday in Hong Kong, the grosses I got are from Monday. As expected, Speed Racer really crashed and burned, losing 8 screens after Thursday’s disastrous opening. After 4 days, the Wachowski’s live-action anime film made only HK$1.91 million. In comparison, Iron Man made 9.2 million over the first 5 days last weekend. A ton of theaters in Hong Kong are already taking the film down to 2-3 shows a day by Thursday.

Meanwhile, What Happens in Vegas also beat Speed Racer here, making HK$646,000 from 29 screens on Monday for a 5-day total of HK$2.59 million. Iron Man ruled for the second weekend in a row, making HK$1.35 million from 47 screens for a 13-day total of HK$16.51 million. Japanese puppy movie A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies is bringing in the families, making another HK$688,000 from 25 screens for a 12-day total of HK$5.43 million. The Other Boleyn Girl enjoyed a strong weekend, making HK$182,000 from just 8 screens for a HK$1.86 million 12-day total. My Wife is a Gambling Maestro is actually still in the game, with a 12-day total of just HK$2.46 million. Also, the doggie documentary This Darling Life didn’t do so well, with only HK$300,000 from 8 screens over 5 days.

- In Korean box office, Iron Man is already up to 2.8 million admissions after two weekends, while Speed Racer did so-so with over 400,000 admissions on opening weekend. More over at Korea Pop Wars.

However, as Grady Hendrix writes, from a Time’s photo flub to Speed Racer’s flopping, Rain just can’t seem to get any respect.

The only place where Speed Racer can try and rescue itself is Japan, where the film will open in September. They’ve already gotten a popular boy band member to dub the main character.

- SMAP’s Kimura Takuya must be a little disappointed too, with his latest Monday 9pm (Japanese drama’s most popular time slot) drama CHANGE scoring only an 23.9% rating for its first episode. This is the lowest-rated premiere for a KimuTaku drama since The Sleeping Forest in 1998 with a 21.3% rating for its first episode, though that drama did have a 30.8% rating for its finale. Perhaps word-of-mouth will eventually help pull it up, but right now, it’s losing to Gokusen, and Fuji TV definitely doesn’t want that to happen.

Actually, the trailer looks quite good. Hell, even the Madonna song works.

- While a third place opening is kind of a disappointment for the Japanese blockbuster The Last Princess, Eiga Consultant reminds us that its opening was still 114% of the opening for the last Kurosawa remake Tsubaki Sanjuro, and that one just barely did over 1 billion yen, so there is still hope for it.

- Oh dear, the Back Dorm Boys, essentially two Chinese guys that pretended to be as talented as real pop stars, are already starring in their third movie, directed by the writer/star of Pavilion of Women. Never heard of it? Keep it that way.

- Takashi Miike continues his slow journey into the mainstream, as he is once again taking the director’s seat for the sequel to last year’s hit comic adaptation Crows Zero.

- The Korean Film Archive opened a film museum and a new cinematheque that will be showing rare old films and just plain ol’ rare films. Know what the “cinematheque” in Hong Kong is playing right now? Iron Man and Speed Racer.

- F*ckedGaijin introduces us to the work of Japanese director Yasuyuki Kobota, who has uploaded his own award-winning commercials and short films on Youtube.

- Utada Hikaru’s latest album Heart Station has finally surpassed the one million mark in sales, marking her 6th consecutive album to do so. My review of the album is here.

- A Singaporean company is joining onboard the production of the new Japanese-France co-produced animated film Yona Yona Penguin. Coincidentally, the budget has just been boosted by USD$1 million.

- Hindu groups in India want the Hollywood comedy The Love Guru banned in the country simply because it can potentially hurt the Hindu community. No, none of these guys have actually seen the movie yet.

- Variety’s Ronnie Schieb has a review for the Chinese film Lost Indulgence, starring Karen Mok and Eason Chan. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen