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Archive for November 29th, 2008

The Golden Rock - November 29th, 2008 Edition

- Mr. Texas of Eiga Consultant looks at the opening of two films from last week. First, he looks at the war crimes drama I’d Rather Be a Shellfish, starring Smap’s Masahiro Nakai and Yukie Nakama. Over the three-day holiday weekend, it made 407 million yen from 330 screens. That’s 105% of the three-day opening for The Glorious Team Batista, which went on to make 1.6 billion yen. More interesting is the audience breakdown, which was 81% female. Also, audience in their 20s made up a surprisingly 32.6% of the total audience (surprising because war dramas or post-war dramas tend to skew older). That’s the power of Smap.

Mr. Texas also looks at the opening of Tropic Thunder in Japan. From a modest 161 screens, the Hollywood comedy made 59.9 million yen over the first two days. Mr. Texas chose not to compare it to Night at the Museum because it was released much wider. Instead, this opening is 133% of Nacho Libre’s opening, which ended making 150 million yen. Hollywood-centric comedies like this usually don’t work so well outside of English-speaking countries, so this result comes as no surprise.

- It’s review time! From Japan Times’ Mark Schilling is the review for the big-budget diaster film 252 ~ Seizonsha Ari, about a super typhoon that hits Tokyo.  From the Daily Yomiuri’s Ikuko Kitagawa is the review for the school drama Aoi Tori, starring Hiroshi Abe as a stuttering teacher that makes his new class face their past deeds head-on.

- Despite the global economic slowdown affecting pretty much everyone, Bollywood industry professionals insist that a film’s success “has nothing to do with stock markets or banks.”

- This week’s Televiews column on the Daily Yomiuri looks at how TV ratings data are compiled in Japan and what’s leading each program category in ratings.

- Twitch looks at the new Korean film A Frozen Flower by Once Upon a Time in High School and A Dirty Carnival director Yu Ha, which is a risky, high-budget, gay-themed period drama that sold fairly well at the American Film Market earlier this month.

- Also on the Korean front, the laughable fantasy blockbuster D-War is making its debut in Japan this weekend, and the Daily Yomiuri has an interesting article about shooting a Korean film about dragons on the streets of Los Angeles.

- Fans of stage dramas in Japan can look forward to the Japanese stage adaptation of the Hollywood film Phone Booth, starring Keiichiro Koyama of boy band NEWS.

- Finally, the Daily Yomiuri looks at the short film Dare Mo Shinanai, a 34-minute work about high school girls who play survival games with BB guns that also marks the directorial debut of painter Mr.. The trailer can be found here, and it’s now playing at a Tokyo theater in Shimokitazawa that specializes in playing short films.

The Golden Rock - November 28th, 2008 Edition

- Lovehkfilm just updated with some new reviews: From Boss Kozo are reviews for Lawrence Lau’s Ballistic, the Taiwanese film noir Parking (which was my 4th favorite film at this year’s Asian Film Festival), and the Korean film Baby and I. From yours truly is the review for the artsy Korean-Mongolian-French production Desert Dream, which is my 100th review for LHKF. Honestly, I wasn’t keeping count.

- Five films opened in Hong Kong yesterday - Two major releases, one modest release, and two limited releases - and four of them made it on the top 10 on opening day. Dante Lam’s Beast Stalker opened on top, with HK$483,000 from 34 screens. It’ll likely pass the HK$2 million mark at the end of the weekend, but we won’t know whether it’ll fall as fast as Champions (which had similar opening numbers) until next weekend. Last week’s top film Cape No. 7 will be at second place, unless the teen audience come out in droves for Patrick Kong’s Nobody’s Perfect.  The Gold Label-produced comedy opened at third place with just HK$209,000 from 24 screens. At least it’ll do better than Forgive and Forget.

Lawrence Lau’s Taiwan politics-themed Ballistic opened on 18 screens, but it only made HK$49,000, which makes the HK$200,000 mark even a hard one to reach by the end of the weekend. The limited releases didn’t do so well, either: The Taiwanese youth film Miao Miao made only HK$31,000 from 8 screens, and Choke didn’t even hit the top 10. More when the numbers are out on Monday.

- Variety has a report on how the ongoing terrorist attacks in Mumbai is affecting the Indian entertainment industry. Mumbai is considered the center of the Bollywood film industry, with many of film companies’ offices situated there.

- The awards season has begun in Japan, as the yearly Hochi Awards is the first one to announce its 2008 winners. Beating out finalists Tokyo Sonata, Climber’s High, and Still Walking is the comedy-drama Departures. However, the Best Director award went to All Around Us‘ Ryusuke Hashiguchi instead.

The Best Actor Award went to Shinichi Tstsumi for his performances in both Climber’s High and Suspect X, while the Best Actress Award went to Kyoko Koizumi for her performances in Gu-Gu Datte Neko de Aru and Tokyo Sonata. The Best Supporting Actor Award went to Masato Sakai (a hit-and-miss actor for me) for Climber’s High and After School, while Kirin Kiki took the Best Supporing Actress Award for Still Walking.

Ayane Nagabuchi took home the Best New Actor Award for Sanpongi Nougyo Kokou Bajutsu Bu, and The Dark Knight won Best Foreign Film.

The complete list in Japan is here.

- If you know Japanese (or know the film well enough to not need subtitles), a thoroughly digitally-restored version of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon will be showing in a Tokyo theater for the next two weeks starting tomorrow.

- Despite production companies around Asia cutting back due to the global financial crisis, the outlook for Asian media in 2009 is still rather positive.

That’s it for today. More over the weekend. Probably.

 
 
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