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The Golden Rock - May 21st, 2008 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers are out. Aibou topped the chart for the third week in a row, losing only about 27% of business from last last week. The drama adaptation has now made nearly 2.7 billion yen with no signs of stopping. Meanwhile, Kurosawa remake The Last Princess dropped by nearly 40%, and has made just over 500 million yen so far. If word-of-mouth doesn’t pick up on this, it may be a disappointment for Toho. However, Toho still has the successful Conan film and Shaolin Girl (nearly 1.3 billion yen) to back them up.

On the other hand, The Mist lost only about 30% of last week’s business, and The Sand Chronicles is also hanging in there, losing only about 28%. The Bucket List also managed to stay at 2nd place not only because of Charlie Wilson’s War’s soft opening, but also because it lost only about 33% from its opening week.

Remember the percentage change is only a rough figure due to fluctuating currency from week to week.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! This week, KAT-TUN sees their latest single debut at number 1, making it their 7th consecutive number 1 single, while Ayaka’s latest single could only debut at 6th place. On the albums chart, Superfly’s debut album debuts at number one, while actor Yutaka Mizutani’s self-cover album debuts at number 2. More at Tokyograph.

- The name My Sassy Girl just doesn’t mean much anymore: While the Japanese drama version is flopping on the ratings chart, the American remake is now sent directly to video without a theatrical release.

- The European Union is reporting that they are seizing less pirated entertainment than before, and such goods from China also fell by 20% (from a whopping 93% the year before). However, that could just mean that people are finding better ways to get them in or not getting caught.

- Variety reports that Hong Kong director Yui Lik-Wai’s Plastic City now has Hong Kong’s Sundream Pictures and Japan’s Bitter End on board, while Hong Kong’s Ming Pao adds that it stars Hong Kong’s Anthony Wong and Japan’s Jo Odagiri as father and son.

- Meanwhile, John Woo announced at Cannes that his next movie will be the Chinese epic 1949, chronicling events that occurred at the end of World War II and the Chinese civil war. While it’ll supposedly be a love story, the fact that Woo is trying to finish the film by the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC should tell you that it’s a China-approved love story.

- Also, a British film following the rise of Mao Zedong is in the making……with Vietnamese soldiers. This movie may not be China-approved.

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee chimes in on Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, while Variety’s Leslie Felperin has a review of Possession, the Hollywood remake of the Korean film Addicted.

- While we’re on the topic of remakes, Dreamworks really went through the old inventory and manage to buy up the remake rights to the 2003 hit Japanese film Yomigaeri. By the way, the Dreamworks-produced A Tale of Two Sisters remake is now called The Uninvited - the name of another Korean horror movie.

- Apparently, the critical and commercial failure of that Genghis Khan movie really got to Haruki Kadokawa’s head….now I’ll go swing my wooden sword a few thousand times.

- Tartan USA, who brought Oldboy and the Election films to America, has sadly closed down.

- Koizora, based on the internet novel about the trials and tribulations of a young Japanese girl, is now going to TV after the film was one of the biggest theatrical hits last year. The director and the production crew from the film are returning, though the cast will not.

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