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The Golden Rock - July 21st, 2008 Edition

Japan is on a national holiday today, so no box office or drama ratings for now. That shouldn’t stop us from looking at numbers elsewhere.

- The Dark Knight exceeded my personal expectations at the Hong Kong box office. Playing on over 80 screens, the comic book movie made HK$16.44 million over 4 days, including HK$4.76 million on Sunday. Apparently, the “less shows a day” effect didn’t quite hurt in the end because of inflated ticket prices. This already exceeds the total take of the first film in Hong Kong, and with good word-of-mouth, this is likely to be the highest-grossing foreign film of the year.

Before it hits that mark, Kung Fu Panda continues its brief win at the highest-grossing foreign film so far. After 23 days, the animated comedy still managed to make HK$579,000 on Sunday from 37 screens, and a total of HK$28.99 million. Space Chimps didn’t even put much of a dent in business, making HK$740,000 after 4 days.

How Much Money Has Red Cliff Made in Hong Kong?

As of July 20th, Red Cliff has made HK$19.16 million after 11 days.

Red Cliff was probably most affected by The Dark Knight’s opening, because it lost almost 20 screens, mainly at multiplexes that had to turn these screens over to Batman. In these smaller screens, John Woo’s historical epic remained packed, making HK$1.35 million from 39 screens, which means HK$25 million is a viable goal, though HK$30 million will be a bit of a reach.

Ann Hui’s The Way We Are is showing in one theater, who is only giving the film one to two shows a day. With two shows on Sunday, it managed to make HK$12,571, which indicates at least a near sell-out for both shows if average ticket price was HK$50. After 3 days (about 5 showings), Ann Hui’s drama has made roughly HK$30,000.

HK$7.8=USD$1

- In Korea, distributor CJ Entertainment is estimating that Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good, the Bad, and the Weird attracted roughly 2.2 million admissions over its first 4 days, which would make it the best opening this year for a Korean film. I believe this already exceeds the total admission for Kim’s previous film, the film noir A Bittersweet Life.

Korean Herald writes about the film’s English-subtitled screenings in one theater in Seoul, and foreigners use it as an opportunity to gripe about the lack of English subtitles at the theater. They should be lucky they get English subtitles on DVDs.

- Derek Elley reviews John Woo’s Red Cliff from Korea, which means he saw the 131-minute cut version instead of the 140-minute one. He also notes that the Japanese version will be cut as well, although I haven’t read any confirmation about that, especially since the first mass media screening in Japan doesn’t happen until August 1st.

- Meanwhile, other press are picking up on the Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea’s opening day numbers. Jason Gray translates the previously linked report and writes that the studio’s “83% of Spirited Away” figure is actually an estimate for the film’s ENTIRE run, which means that the rough figure doesn’t mean all that much.

Variety also points out that since Spirited Away opened on 150 less screens, Ponyo may actually be doing worse. However, since there’s no solid numbers, no one can really make any solid numbers out of these statistics, espeically since Saturday and Sunday night numbers will probably be pretty strong because of the holiday on Monday.

- The Japanese variety comedy show Gakkou E Ikou MAX, which is responsible for those clips of Japanese kids speaking to Hollywood celebrities in English, is coming to an end after a 11-year run due to declining ratings.

- Twitch has a link to the first footage from Wilson Yip’s Ip Man, which shows some on-the-set stuff featuring a Donnie Yen with short hair and him throwing some punches.  Meanwhile, Wong Kar-Wai is busy at the Carina Lau-Tony Leung wedding. Really.

- Kaiju Shakedown has the first official poster for the live-action Dragonball movie. I don’t know….

- Tadanobu Asano is slated to star in Kankuro Kudo’s adaptation of his own award-winning play, with a commercial director making his feature film debut.

- Nippon Cinema has the first teaser for Lala Pipo, the sex comedy written by Memories of Matsuko’s Tetsuya Nakashima. I’m surprised it’s already gotten an R-18 rating already. Are these self-imposed, or is the film really done that early?

- Just as the New York Asian Film Festival  wraps up, the KOFIC brings the New York Korean Film Festival to New York City starting August 22nd with films such as Forever the Moment and Open City.

- Congratulations to Kiyoshi Kuroawa, whose Tokyo Sonata won the Best Film Prize at Osian’s Cinefan Film Festival. This marks the second major festival prize for the family drama, including the Grad Prix Prize at Cannes.

-  Korea and China are working to together to produce an animated series called…what the hell is that name?

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