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The Golden Rock - June 30th, 2008 Edition

Not much time today, so I’m leaving the number crunching for tomorrow.

- Something has captured the premiere of the first trailer for Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea from the NTV morning show. Yukie Nakama is onscreen because she was on the show to promote the final episode of Gokusen, hence the Yankumi look and all. There’s also a second longer trailer in Japanese theaters that I saw, but for now, I dare you to try get that song out of your head.

Also in the world of Japanese trailers, there’s an official trailer for the mega-budget 20th Century Boys, which already has advertisements on TV several times a day, and actually shows off more than this trailer.  There’s also the second teaser for Tetsuya Nakashima’s latest Paco and the Magic Picture Book. On the other hand, from the well-known assemble cast to the screenful of cgi, this seems to have the ingredient for a mega-disaster, even if I’m a big fan of Nakashima’s work.

- Nippon cinema has a write-up on the release of the Hana Yori Dango movie, and even reports that the first day attendance seems to point to a mega 10 billion yen take. More when the numbers do come out.

- The Korean Grand Bell Awards happened last night, and The Chaser was the big winner by taking home six awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor. Meanwhile, Yunjin Kim picked up the Best Actress Award for the thriller Seven Days, which somehow managed to pick up the Best Editing Award too. Andrew Lau must be proud.

- This all comes on the heels of a critical summer season for Korean films. With The Public Enemy Returns as the first Korean film to top the box office in 3 months, the major studios are now turning to tentpole blockbusters instead of horror films to battle the Hollywood monsters.

- Korean Star Song Hye-Kyo has not only signed up to star in John Woo’s latest film; she’s also joining producer Terence Cheng’s newly-formed talent agency. It’s no surprise, as Song has made a name for herself in the Chinese-speaking region for her roles in several well-known Korean dramas. This is also the agency co-founded by Michelle Yeoh and reportedly took on Isabella Leung, resulting in the current legal debacle.

- The sale of Universe Entertainment by major stockholder Daneil Lam has reported been canceled, though not much else is known.

- After announcing their move into talent management and film, major Japanese record label Avex will be producing their own musical that will feature 21 classic songs from the label’s artists.

- The controversial Chinese search engine Baidu has signed up for a major partnership with three major record companies to provide legal music streaming on its site. Now the Western record labels just need to learn how to play nice.

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