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The Golden Rock - June 10th, 2008 Edition

Lots of number crunching today, so here we go:

- As expected, Narnia got a huge boost over the weekend at the Hong Kong box office as the younger audience turned up in droves over the holiday weekend. On Monday (the public holiday), the adventure epic made HK$3 million from 72 screens for a 5-day total of HK$11.27 million. Meanwhile, Sex and the City didn’t its Narnia-sized bump because of its restricted rating, although it didn’t do too damn bad either. From 43 screens, the TV adaptation made HK$6.38 million over the 5-day weekend. Of course, remember that both films had a ticket price increase due to their lengths, so it may not necessarily reflect attendance.

Meanwhile, all the openers from last weekend dwindled down to 5-digit numbers this past weekend. Penelope leads the pack with HK$93,000 from 15 screens for a 12-day total of HK$2.86 million. The Moss is struggling to get to The Pye-Dog’s gross with only HK$57,000 from 13 screens and a 12-day total of HK$1.22 million. It deserves better. Shaolin Girl took a big dive in its second weekend, with just HK$25,000 from 14 screens on Monday, and a 12-day total of HK$1.25 million. And despite being the Academy Award winner for best foreign film, The Counterfeiters doesn’t seem to be destined for limited release success, with only HK$250,000 after 12 days on 3 screens.

Lastly, Indiana Jones finally passes the HK$25 million mark after 19 days, while Iron Man is still on the top 10 after 41 days with a HK$21.69 million total.

- The Japanese entertainment news media had a busy weekend, as the “big three” (Toei, Toho, and Shochiku) each had a wide release this weekend. As expected, Koki Mitani’s The Magic Hour took the top spot in the attendance chart. According to Variety, it made a spectacular 506 million yen from 379 screens over the opening Saturday and Sunday. Since The Wow-Choten Hotel never made it to Hong Kong, I’m even going to venture into this while I’m here and see what the fuss is all about (although I’m sure I won’t understand half the movie).

Meanwhile, the Tsukiji movie (now named The Taste of Fish as a first in a planned yearly series) is relying on word-of-mouth it make it profitable with only a 6th place opening. Takashi Miike’s God’s Puzzle didn’t even make it in the top 10 in attendance and is not likely to gross enough to surpass 27 Dresses in gross. At least Toei still has Aibou the movie, which is still in 3rd place this weekend. More when the numbers are out.

-  Things are depressing in South Korea, as local films made up only 7.8% of total market share at the box office in May, making it Korean cinema’s worst month ever since the relevant authorities started counting.

Meanwhile,  June isn’t starting out very well, with only one Korean film making the top 10 this past weekend all the way down at 5th place. Last year, the similar happened with the endless summer assault of Hollywood blockbusters, but things may even be worse this year.

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! As the season moves closer to the end, several dramas hit their season low. These dramas include Zettai Kareshi, Osen, Puzzle, Around 40, Kimi Wa Hanin Janai yo ne?, and Ryoteki na Kanojo (My Sassy Girl) at 12.1%, 8.4%, 8.0%, 13.3%, 7.7%, and 6.3%, respectively. Baseball drama Rookies started its second part with an average 15.4% rating, while Gokusen fell again slightly to a 21.3% rating, and remains the highest-rated drama of the season so far. Kimura Takuya’s CHANGE is high up at 2nd place, but fell below 20% for the first time. As it reaches the middle just when other dramas are hitting their finales, I think Fuji is trying to boost ratings as the only drama still on the air for the season when everything else is over.

- Zhang Ziyi is heading to Hollywood once again, acting opposite Hugh Grant this time as a Chinese director working with a top British star and a translator in their way.

- It’s trailers time! Nippon Cinema has a trailer for Monster X Strikes Back, about a monster named Gurara attacking the G8 Summit and Beat Takeshi showing up to save mankind. It’s all in the trailer. Twitch has the link to a trailer and comparison shots for the newly redrawn and re-sounded Ghost in the Shell 2.0. Lastly, Kaiju Shakedown links us to the full-length trailer of Detroit Metal City, which looks like a fun dose of absurd Japanese humor.

- In related news, a single featuring Detroit Metal City star Kenichi Matsuyama as two characters will be released along with the film.

- Variety’s Justin Chang offers up a review of the new Japanese sports film Dive!, which opens this weekend in Japan.

- Under “celebrities looking for a PR opportunity from natural disaster” news today, director Chen Kaige will be taking a break from post-production of his latest film to direct a short film for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake about successful Chinese sports player to show Chinese people overcoming difficulties. I’m sure after The Promise, he needs all the goodwill he can get for his latest. Why, yes, I have been told that I’m cynical.

A Bee Gee member jumps on the bandwagon to criticize China for something. Granted, said Bee Gee member is the head of the CISAC, and he’s talking about something legitimate like rightful royalty payment to artists that are not being paid, but really, take a number and get in line.

- Bittorrent Japan has made 27 films and animation videos available for free for 3 days ahead of the Interop conference in Tokyo. Here’s the page.

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