- reviews - features - people - panasia - blogs - about site - contact - links - forum -
Site Features
- Asian Film Awards
- Site Recommendations

- Reader Poll Results

- The FAQ Page
support this site by shopping at
Click to visit
We do news right, not fast

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with The Golden Rock.

Archive for August 15th, 2008

The Golden Rock - August 15th, 2008 Edition

Holy crap, it’s been a while.

Housekeeping notes:

This blogger has been working at the Olympics with work hours that are borderline inhumane, so again, much apologies to the few loyal readers and the management of Lovehkfilm for the lack of updates. Not logging in for over a week meant that I had to quickly filter 619 comments that looked like spam. If you left a comment in the last two weeks and it didn’t get published, then it was probably because it was stuck between an ad for online casinos and some incomprehensible comment in Russian. With my work hours now normalizing to something more humane, I will be able to log in more often, so please try leaving it again, and it’ll probably find its way onto the site.

I’ll be able to update a little more often now, but postings won’t get back to normal until the horses stop walking around their sandboxes here in Hong Kong.

And now, the news:

The worldwide hit The Dark Knight has finally made it way to Japan. However, the phenomenon hasn’t quite hit the country as local hits like Hana Yori Dango and Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea have overshadowed the buzz. Warner Bros. was quite cautious, releasing the sequel on 460 screens (as opposed to 545 screens for Batman Begins) and opening it 4 weeks after it opened in the United States (Batman Begins had a day-to-date opening in 2005). Add that with an longer running time and a lack of IMAX screens in Japan to boost the box office, The Dark Knight opened at 2nd place behind Ponyo with 220 million. That’s only 76% of Batman Begins‘ opening, though that may again be attributed to less showings on less screens. I hesitate to say that Warners blew it this time, because they had to go up against the Toho blockbusters, which is probably the reason why they moved the opening back to August. With Star Wars Clone Wars, Sex and the City, 20th Century Boys, and Hancock still on the way, Warners may find Japan a bit of an anomaly when it’s all said and done. However, word-of-mouth seems to be good (85% of voters gave the film an A on MovieWalker), and since long-term income is what makes films blockbusters in Japan, there may be still be hope for Batman in Japan.

- Thanks to The Magic Hour, Hana Yori Dango, and Ponyo of the Cliff by the Sea, Toho has set a new record for monthly box office takings. Despite a weaker-than-expected performance for the first half of 2008, Toho will probably end up seeing some real positive news at the end of the year.

- Pokemon has actually contributed greatly to Toho’s success in June as well. In fact, thanks to the franchise’s latest film, which successfully held up its own against the Studio Ghibli giant, the Pokemon brand name is expected to make over 50 billion yen from the big screen alone.

- The rules of humor about China is constantly being rewritten. While it seemed like Chinese netizens can’t seem to take any kind of joke, now the situation has changed to one where you can poke fun at the Chinese teams - as long as you’re Chinese.

-The Hong Kong omnibus film A Decade of Love - featuring shorts by directors such as Wong Ching-Po, Aubrey Lam, and Marco Mak - finally made its premiere at the Summer edition of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. However, it seems like A-1 Headline co-director Chung Kai-Cheong’s short may have been eliminated from the final cut because it deals with the ‘89 Tiananmen Square incident.

-  Kaiju Shakedown looks at how the Anthony Wong’s Initial D school of method acting was used to excessive effect on the set of the Korean film Sunny.

- Min Lee looks at the Hong Kong debut of Chinese-American rapper Jin, who rose to fame in the hip-hop world after winning a freestyle rap contest on TV for 6 weeks in a row.

It’s off to work to see more dressag. See you next time. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen