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Archive for July 7th, 2008

The Golden Rock - July 7th, 2008 Edition

- With Will Smith’s Hancock getting thrown into the mix, three Hollywood films took up a bulk of the Hong Kong box office over this past weekend. As expected, the superhero comedy took the top spot with HK$2.97 million from 58 screens on Sunday for a 4-day total of $HK10 million. Kung Fu Panda wasn’t far behind, either, with HK$2.43 million from 60 screens for a 11-day total of HK$19.45 million. Wanted is down at third place with HK$1.19 million from 41 screens for an impressive 11-day total of HK$17.43 million. This far outdoes Universal’s previous release, The Incredible Hulk, which has made only HK$12.02 million after 25 days.

Nim’s Island, which didn’t have a very impressive opening day on Thursday, saw a siginificant boost from the family business, making HK$206,000 from 19 screens. It doesn’t sound very good, but that’s more than double the opening day gross. After 4 days, the adventure film has made HK$600,000. The French film Ensemble is also still doing very good limited release business, making HK$44,000 from 4 screens on Sunday, and has since made HK$600,000 after 11 days.

-  In Japanese box office attendance figures, (insert adjective here) Hana Yori Dango Final tops the box office again, with Indiana Jones remaining in second place as well. The newsroom film Climber’s High managed to hit third place, while Speed Racer repeats its fate seen around the world with only a 5th place opening. They tried. More when the numbers come out.

- The new Summer 2008 Japanese drama season has started, and the number one show so far (by a mile) is Code Blue, the medical drama about lots of unbelievable pretty people aseembled into one team of helicopter doctors. On Thursday night, it scored a 21.2% rating, making it the highest number for a Summer drama at the Thursday 10 pm slot, and the 7th highest in the time slot’s history since it Fuji started showing dramas then in 1984. Meanwhile, the over-sensational Monster Parents (I saw the premiere episode in Japan. More on its sensational advertising in the future) premiered with a respectable 14.2% rating, especially when Muri Na Renai had that slot last season. This season’s Japanese remake of a Korean source material, Maou, debut with a 14% rating, which is not bad considering its Friday night slot. Doing not as well on the same night is the lottery drama Loto 6 de 3 Oku 2 Senmanen Ateta Otoko with ex-GTO Takashi Sorimachi, as it debut with a 12.4% rating. It wasn’t a very good show either. The latest drama with Beach Boys co-star Yotaka Takenouchi, the medical drama Tomorrow, did much better than Ryoteki Na Kanojo with its premiere episode, scoring a 16.8% rating.

Go to Tokyograph to see the description of Summer 2008 dramas.

As for Spring 2008 dramas still on air, CHANGE took a slight drop to under 20% again, and becoming less and less likely to beat Gokusen in the season average. Rookies has a very loyal fanbase, as its ratings continue to hover around 14-15%, and Hachi-One Diver got a big boost to a 9.4% for its 9th episode after the previous episode got only a 6.9% rating.

- John Woo’s Red Cliff is finally being unveiled this weekend throughout Asia, as its 140-minute part 1 will open in Hong Kong, China, Korea, and Taiwan this Thursday.

However, Korea will be getting a shorter version of the film, with distributor Showbox cutting 9 minutes of the film with Woo’s permission (though not necessarily blessings). If the film was so damn meaningful, then why cut even one minute of it?

- Meanwhile, Kaiju Shakedown looks at the slate of super patriotic Chinese films that will probably never sell at film markets around the world.

- A little late, but Jason Gray has posted what is probably the first English-language reaction to the potentially creepy Kodomo no Kodomo (”A Child’s Child”), and apparently it’s really not that bad.

- The Thai government is planning to attract more foreign productions with tax breaks that should come into effect next year. Currently, three high-profile films - one of them Hong Kong - are shooting there.

- The Korean brotherhood classic Friend is coming to television, with original director Kwak Kyung-Taek said to be including new stories that were not included in the original film. Still being written, the drama plans to be on TV early next year.

- Herman Yau, fresh off his latest gangland flick, is already starting work on a new film. This time, the film will be more in the vein of his 2007 film Whispers and Moans. About Hong Kong prostitutes, the film stars 80s-90s pop star Prudence Lau, Anthony Wong, Race Wong, and DJ Sammy. The current Chinese title of the flick directly translate to “I Don’t Sell My Body, I Only Sell my Uterus”.

- According to a producer at Milkyway, Johnnie To has considerably slowed down on productions and will not be following his usual schedule of 2-3 films a year after Sparrow.

 
 
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