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Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with The Golden Rock.

The Golden Rock - May 28th, 2008 Edition

- It was a pretty crowded weekend at the top of the Japanese box office this past weekend. The Chronicles of Narnia opened on a Thursday, and made roughly 546 million yen on Saturday and Sunday for a 798 million yen 4-day take. By the per-screen average, it’s not a very spectacular opening, but family films have a long shelf life at the Japanese box office, so it’ll likely end up doing pretty well. However, Aibou, which only lost 8% of its business, actually had a better per-screen average on its 4th weekend, and has now passed the 3 billion yen mark.

Rambo’s opening was also pretty damn good, making 205 million yen from 304 screens and a per-screen average was fairly close to Narnia’s.  In fact, its opening was actually 153.1% of Rocky Balboa’s opening, which means it may be heading to the 1 billion yen mark if word-of-mouth is good. However, the best per-scren average went to Kenji Uchida’s After School, which at 6th place on the box office gross chart with a very good per-screen average of 968,772 yen.

You may be wondering why Yama No Anata is only at 9th place on the gross chart when it’s 6th place on the attendance chart? That’s because most theaters in Japan are charging only 1,000 per ticket, I guess to encourage admission. Meanwhile, as reported earlier, Charlie Wilson’s War suffered the biggest drop, losing 43.5% of business. Of course, that’s not as bad as 10,000 BC, which lost another 63% of business and won’t even make it to the 1 billion yen mark.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! Hey! Say! Jump! scores another number 1 debut with their latest, while Hikaru Utada’s theme from Last Friends saw a number 2 debut (while her album is still on the top 10). Meanwhile, Superfly retains its number 1 spot despite a number of new albums debuting on the top 10. Check out the details at Tokyograph.

- Sharon Stone proves that saying something stupid in public can still get you in big trouble in China, where there’s now a planned boycott of her films. Talk about taking it personally.

- There are rumors going around that a 9-minute clip from Red Cliff is floating around on the web. Actually, if you check the comment section, there’s a link to a cam version.

- The release of a digital recorder that can record up to 10 programs simultaneously has been postpone indefinitely because of a continuing conflict between copyright holders and the manufacturers over the fee for rights.

-  It’s almost frustrating how little information is getting out there for the latest Studio Ghibli film. The voice cast for Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on a Cliff has finally been announced, a little less than 2 months before its theatrical release in Japan.

- Nippon Cinema introduces the teenage drama Ren, about a girl from the future trapped in modern-day Tokyo. But if you don’t know Japanese, it’ll just seem like another teenage romance drama to you.

- Jay Chou is reportedly working on directing and starring in a new film about magicians, and it will be co-starring Andy Lau. The two will play rival magicians who battle to be number one. The Apple Daily article reports that the film was originally about a young magician played by Chou being taught by Lau’s character, but Lau said that he had no interest in playing a teacher, so he suggested the film be about a rivalry instead. It’s currently in script stage, and will not be able to shoot until the end of the year because of Lau’s commitments to Andrew Lau and Johnnie To’s new films. Of course, Apple Daily adds that no official announcements have been made, and no one is commenting, so this may be stuck in the rumor mill for a while.

Apple Daily also adds that the film seems similar to Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, but no one has responded to such claims since no one will even confirm that the film is being made yet.

- The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Singaporean director Eric Khoo, who talks about shooting on a Singaporean budget and dealing with strict censors.

- Part of a weeklong feature, author Haruki Murakami talks to the Mainichi Daily News about his latest novel, which is poised to be even longer than The Wind-up Bird Chronicles, which took me 2 months to read because it was so damn long.

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