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Archive for May 19th, 2008

The Golden Rock - May 19th, 2008 Edition

- With no major opener this past weekend, Hong Kong box office was fairly quiet this past weekend. The apocalyptic thriller Doomsday performed the best, making HK$330,000 from 23 screens on Sunday for a 4-day weekend total of HK$1.25 million, despite being slapped with the category-III rating. Of course, Iron Man ruled for the third weekend in a row, making HK$724,000 from 41 screens on Sunday. After 19 days, the superhero film has already made HK$19.62 million. However, with Indiana Jones coming this week, it’s not likely to surpass the HK$25 million mark.

Meanwhile, What Happens in Vegas seemed to have been fueled by strong word-of-mouth, retaining much of its business for a second-place finish. On Sunday, the romantic comedy made HK$507,000 from 29 screens for a 11-day total of HK$4.97 million. As counter-programming, it may have a solid chance of hitting HK$10 million. On the other hand, Speed Racer suffered a far worse fate, making only HK$145,000 from 37 screens, and it has only made a depressing HK$2.53 million after 11 days.

Be Kind, Rewind did a lot better over the weekend, making HK$221,000 from just 11 screens for a 4-day total of HK$710,000. Hong Kong continues to prove their love for dog movies with A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies, which made another HK$317,000 from 24 screens for a 18-day total of HK$6.65 million. Too bad only one screen in Hong Kong (I think) is playing the original Japanese version. The dark comedy/horror film Teeth also did OK, making HK$128,000 from 8 screens for a 4-day total of HK$500,000.

- In Japanese cinema attendance figures, only Charlie Wilson’s War hit the top 10, debuting at 3rd place. This bumps everything below it down by at least one place, including The Last Princess, Shaolin Girl, and Crayon Chin-chan dropped from 6th place all the way to 9th. However, The Mist and The Sand Chronicles remain unaffected, staying at 7th and 8th place, respectively. More when the numbers are out.

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! As I reported on Tuesday, Kimura Takuya’s much-anticipated drama CHANGE started a little disappointingly with just a 23.9% rating. Meanwhile, Muri Na Renai finally found its way up, getting a 6.9% rating after the season-low 6.2% in the previous week. The same applied for Ryoteki Na Kanojo (aka My Sassy Girl), which went up to 8.0% for this week’s episode after last week’s season-low 7% rating. In fact, only Kimi Hannin Janai yo ne is the only drama that reached a new season low this week.

Meanwhile, comic adaptation Rookies have recovered from its disappointing opening and scored a season-high rating of 16.4% rating this week. Hachi One Diver also recovered quite well, scoring a 11% rating for this week’s episode. Gokusen, Osen, Puzzle, and Hokaben all recovered slightly, scoring 25.3%, 9.5%, 10.2%, and 7.8%, respectively. Lastly, Last Friends is still doing well with a 17.2% rating for this week’s after scoring a season-high 19.9% last week.

-  While Hayao Miyasaki’s Ponyo on a Cliff is poised to take the top spot in this year Japan box office, Mark Schilling over at Variety also looks at a few other movies that may hit it big at the Japanese box office this summer. Believe it or not, Speed Racer is one of them.

- In light of last week’s earthquake in China, the government has set a three days’ mourning period, effective stopping all “public recreational activities” for three days, including variety shows and even cinema screenings. Hong Kong is also suspending the nightly laser show at Victoria Harbor, which sucks if you’re a tourist and you’re only in Hong Kong for these three days.

- Since I found it, I’ve already watched it 4 times: It’s the trailer for Kim Ji-Woon’s The Good, The Bad, The Weird. Am I overzealous of thinking already that this can either be the most spectacular success or the most spectacular failure of 2008 Korean cinema? Anyway, time to pull out that A Bittersweet Life DVD again.

Note: The link from Kaiju Shakedown is already down. You can catch it here, before it gets deleted.

- It’s reviews time! Variety’s Derek Elley has two reviews from Cannes: First his not-positive-but-not-negative review of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, then his somewhat positive review of Jia Zhangke’s 24 City.

Also, Midnight Eye has been updating quite a bit, including reviews of Fine Totally Fine and Tokyo Sonata, so keeping checking that front page.

- With the Ashes of Time Redux cut having premiered at Cannes already, Grady Hendrix looks at what are some of the already known facts about it. Also, Oriental Daily already covered the premiere today, and reported not seeing much changes except for the new score and some color correction.

-Veteran Japanese pop group Southern All Stars (the originator of many hit Cantopop songs in the 80s and the 90s) are announcing an indefinite hiatus to start after their 30th anniversary concert.

- While Toshiba and Gaga Usen are closing shop as film distributors in Japan, a new distributor backed by record label Avex has popped up, and it will concentrate on directors rather than stars. “Cast and script quality are not enough,” the label’s new head says. Ouch.

- I didn’t see this coming: Actress Manami Konishi’s first single, the theme song for the Takeshi Kaneshiro-starrer Accuracy of Death, has hit the number 1 spot in Taiwan ahead of the film’s opening. Is it for the film, or is Konishi really that popular in Taiwan?

- Beast Cops was on TV this morning, and I was wondering what has happened to Gordon Chan? After finishing the latest Donnie Yen star vehicle Painted Skin, the Hong Kong director will be directing the film version of the classic video game King of Fighters. Worse of all, he’s now known in the West only as the director of The Medallion. How far the greats have fallen.

- Death Note star Kenichi Matsuyama has won the Grand Prize of the first annual Eigakan Taisho, which gathered 6,000 votes for Japan’s favorite actor or actress. Good for him, now his non-Death Note films just have to do better.

 
 
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