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Archive for June 16th, 2008

The Golden Rock - June 16th, 2008 Edition

Back from a short weekend trip, but will be heading out for a day trip to Tokyo tomorrow.  Don’t worry, I’ll make it up somehow.

Anyway, it’s too early for box office numbers, although numbers from Hong Kong last Friday suggest that the new Incredible Hulk will do moderate business, with Narnia being bumped to second place. More on Wednesday.

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! The Spring 2008 drama is finally coming to a close in the next several weeks (except for CHANGE, which is in the middle right now). The real success this season has been the controversial Last Friends, which premiered with only a  13.9% rating.  However, its hot topic subject matters (Domestic violence! Gender crisis!) helped lift it to a season-high 20.9% rating for its second-to-last episode this  past week. However, Fuji executives are probably still sweating over CHANGE, which saw the second consecutive week of under-20% rating, although it did rebound slightly. I know a few readers out there have been wondering why I keep calling it a disappointment, despite its second place standing. However, imagine a TV drama starring Andy Lau getting beat in the ratings by a drama starring Stephy Tang. A Kimura Takuya drama is usually the top drama of the season, and I think it might’ve been hurt by the secrecy-filled promotional campaign and the extremely late start. Then again, maybe Japanese people really don’t care so much about political dramas.

Actually, ratings leader Gokusen suffered a huge drop for this week’s episode, losing to CHANGE and Last Friends with only a season-low 17.6% rating. If I remember correctly, the second installment of the drama never dipped below 20% during its  run in 2005. However, since all the dramas on Saturday and Sunday took a dip from the previous week, there’s a small chance that the major earthquake in the Northeast area of the main island might have affected television viewership. The most affected drama has to be Ryoteki Na Kanojo (It doesn’t translate to My Sassy Girl, but it’s what it is), which has not yet become the lowest drama in average ratings, but broke the 6.0 rating mark with a 5.9% rating for this week’s episode. Meanwhile, the drama with that dubious honor, Muri Na Renai, dropped again to a 6.3% rating ahead of its final episode.

Dramas that got their season-high ratings this week (and has not been mentioned) are Hokaben, Shin Kasouken no Onna, Shichi Nin no Onna Bengoshi with 9.6%, 17.1%, and 11.7%. Other than Gokusen and Ryoteki Na Kanojo, no other drama saw season-low ratings this week. Lastly, Friday night 11 pm TV Asahi drama Kimi Wa Hannin janai yo ne? wrapped up with a 9.4% rating for its final episode and an 8.9% average for the season.

- The Shanghai International Film Festival has started, with Hollywood Reporter Asia providing full coverage. However, it’s opening has not been the smoothest. First, organizers had to go for a more subdued approach to the opening after the Sichuan Earthquake. Then the press screening of the opening film had to be canceled because the print didn’t arrive. However, things are still pretty promising, with two foreign films getting their premieres. This is a big deal because the SIFF didn’t have a world premiere until 2006.

Also, going smoothly at the same time is the Shanghai Television Festival, where TV writers from Hollywood came together in a forum and presented an exhibition on editing.

- Meanwhile, the troubled Bangkok International Film Festival has finally set a date for this year’s edition, and will partly overlap the Thailand Entertainment Expo.

- Japanese animation director Kunio Kato picked up the top prize at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, which is known as the “Cannes of animation”. The 12-minute film also picked up the Junior Jury Award under the short film section.

- After the success of The Magic Gourd in China (and pretty much nowhere else), Disney is getting ready to release their second film aimed squarely at the Chinese market. Coincidentally, the film, now in post-production, is about pandas and shot in the earthquake-affected Sichuan Province. Don’t be surprise if they reshoot to make it a disaster movie.

- The so-called “New Queen of S&M” in Japanese cinema is suffering a bit of a setback, with magazines featuring her pictures actually selling less, while her latest film is a dud in limited release. Mark Schilling of Japan Times reviewed the film earlier this month.

- Another Japanese drama sequel is on the way next season, as summer 2007 drama Sono Otoko, Fukushocho is coming back for a second round this summer.

See you all back at the same time, same page on Wednesday. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen