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Archive for the ‘casting’ Category

The Golden Rock - June 5th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Japanese Billboard charts time! Just as in the Oricon chart, GReeeN’s latest single takes the number one spots thanks to sales and radio airplay. In fact, radio airplay helped boost many artists on the Hot 100, including Usher, Misia, and Orange Range, which got boosted to 2nd place over V6’s latest. Madonna’s Miles Away, though not a released single, even got a 12th place on the Hot 100 because it’s getting airplay as the theme song to the Kimura Takuya drama CHANGE.

- The indie film Yamazakura, starring Rena Tanaka, opened on 9 screens in the Kanto area and made an impressive 8.14 million yen. This is especially impressive because at one theater in Tokyo, every seat for the 8 showings over the weekend filled up, and 70% of the audience were taking advantage of the discounts for seniors and married couples over 50. As Mr. Texas writes, with the film expanding to 20 more screens, will the film reach the top 10 of the box office charts?

- Remember the Black Eyed Peas charity concert I reported about earlier in the week? Featuring Karen Mok, the concert raised a total of USD$1 million for the earthquake relief efforts in China. Good for them.

- Do you remember the “Wong Kar-Wai vs. Raymond Wong” battle over the Yip Man movie Kaiju Shakedown earlier in the week also? According to the Wilson Yip film’s latest poster, Mandarin Films seemed to have backed off and is simply calling the film Yip Man in Chinese.

And now, Andy On is looking for the compensation that he’s still supposed to get after he was dropped from the film due to the producers’ need to fill the cast with Mainland Chinese actors (for co-production status). From the look of the producers’ luck, the film will probably get held up for 6 months by Mainland Chinese censors, and the film will flop in theaters.

- Under “Japanese celebrities break world records” news today, uber-host Monta Mino breaks the Guinness World Record for appearing on TV live for the most hours in a week that he set himself in 2006. The man hosts two lives shows a day, 6 days a week. When Regis can do this much TV, then we can call him the “Monta Mino of America”.

Meanwhile, Japanese celebrity Yusuke Kamji got on the Guinness World Record for having the most unique user on a personal blog in a day. Why hasn’t they contacted me over the record for “blog with least amount of original information”?

- The Korean Herald has an English review for the latest and the third Public Enemy film, again starring Sol Kyung-Gu. I probably should at least watch the first one.

- One of my favorite directors Kim Jee-Woon has signed up to make his English-language debut with John Woo and Terence Chang as producers. It’ll be a remake of a 1970s French classic noir about a heist going wrong.

Meanwhile, Kim’s latest The Good, The Bad, and the Weird has been selling very well after its positive reception at Cannes. However, Kim says he’s preparing two versions - an international one with more Sergio Leone references and a Korean one with “more directed at entertainment.” Sergio Leone is pretty damn entertaining to me, though.

- Toru Nakamura, in Hong Kong and Japanese theaters right now as the super-evil university dean in Shaolin Girl, just won the Yellow Ribbon Award in the film actors category. The award is presented every year as tributes to top fathers in different fields.

-  U2’s manager teared the internet a new one at a music forum here in Hong Kong, blaming internet service providers for the dwindling music business and how everyone is not sharing the money for people in the industry. Another foreigner is criticizing China! Someone boycott him!

- Meanwhile, Seoul police continue to rip their way through the city in their 100 days-long anti-piracy project, arresting people and seizing tons of pirated entertainment products.

- Major Japanese rental chain Tsutaya will begin streaming movies online for their members, creating another way for people to watch movies legally on their computer without having to go to their stores.

-  Jason Gray caught the award-winning Tokyo Sonata and provides a brief write-up.

- Korean actor Ha Jeong Woo will be starring in a Korea-Japan co-production with popular young actor Satoshi Tsumabuki. The film will be written by a Japanese writer and will have a Korean director, not unlike the romantic-drama Virgin Snow from last year.

The Golden Rock - June 2nd, 2008 Edition

- It was a crowded weekend at the Hong Kong box office, but none of the many newcomers could beat Indiana Jones. The Steven Spielberg adventure film made another HK$1.9 million from 80 screens for a 11-day total of HK$21.54 million. With Narnia and Sex and the City coming next weekend, it’s going to be a pretty steep climb to that HK$30 million mark. Out of the 5 newcomers, Penelope sprinted to 2nd place, making HK$306,000 from 19 screens for a 4-day weekend total of HK$1.12 million. It’s also the only newcomer that passed the HK$1 million mark over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Japanese film Shaolin Girl is right behind Penelope, but it didn’t get much of a boost over the weekend, making only HK$224,000 from 27 screens and a 4-day weekend total of HK$890,000. Behind that is Derek Kwok’s The Moss, with only HK$171,000 from 30 screens and a 4-day total of HK$650,000, putting on par with The Pye-Dog. The Richard Gere-led The Hunting Party made HK$73,000 from 6 screens and made HK$250,000 over 4 days. Academy Award-winner The Counterfeiters was on 3 screens and made HK$38,000 for a HK$120,000 4-day total. Lastly, the French film The Story of Richard O. was on the top ten on opening day, but didn’t make it on the top 10 on Sunday.

- The Japanese box office attendance figures didn’t give much surprise, with Narnia and Aibou retaining their top spots. Korean director Kwak Jae-Young’s Japanese debut Cyborg She (aka My Girlfriend is a Cyborg) made it to 3rd place, while Hollywood films 21 and 27 Dresses debut at 5th and 6th place, respectively. More when the numbers are out.

-  You can now watch Japanese television live over the internet, using this completely legal and reliable software. I’ve already used it for a day, and it works fairly well. No, it’s not spam, it’s a completely legitimate recommendation.

-  Sega is launching a major game project for the Nintendo DS, with both comic and animation adaptations coming before the game’s actual launch.

Japundit recommends an interesting-looking little independent film. That video clip made me laugh quite a bit.

- The Osamu Tezuka comic MW is coming to the big screen, and Hiroshi Tamaki (Chiaki-sama!) is taking the lead role. Wait, directed by another television director?

- The stage performance troupe Takarazuka is celebrating their 95th anniversary by taking on a stage adaptation of the Bae Yong-Joon drama The Legend (that’s the new English name for his latest one). Man, I wouldn’t want to try and become the Japanese version of Yon-sama.

The Golden Rock - May 29th/30th, 2008 Edition

A slow news day means a shorter entry today:

- The latest Narnia movie scored a fairly huge opening in Japan this weekend, easily beating out Aibou for that number 1 spot. However, Mr. Texas at Eiga Consultant points out that the Disney-produced sequel actually opened at only 70% of the first film’s opening. As expected, the audience were spread out fairly evenly between the subbed and dubbed versions, with the subbed version getting 53% of total audiences. While the film doesn’t have any big opponents until Indy shows up on June 21st, it’s more on par to do Golden Compass numbers rather than matching the 6.88 billion yen gross of the original.

- The 2,000 seat Koma Theater, which has attracted enka shows and international stage shows, will be closing down at the end of the year along with the theater next door.

-  Aibou was scheduled to end its run on June 6th, assuming that Toei needed to make room for Takeshi Miike’s God Puzzle, but now Toei is extending its time in theaters, which is natural since it’s still at 2nd place of the box office chart this past weekend.

- Speaking of God’s Puzzle, Twitch has the film’s latest trailer.

- After Bae Yong-Joon joined the cast of the animated version of Winter Sonata, now actress Choi Ji Woo from the live-action drama is also voicing her animated counterpart.

-  For some reason, China’s CCTV has stopped airing the NBA playoffs, though reasons that can be attributed to this is that peope are in no mood to watch the NBA after the earthquake and neither of the two Chinese players in the league are actually playing in the playoffs.

- A Twitch reader sent in a review for Shaolin Girl, and the news isn’t good. I’m catching this tonight, and I’m lowering my expectations already.

- Jason Gray checks out Tokyo! in Tokyo and writes about a famous Shibuya arthouse theater in the process.

- Japan Times has a lengthy report on this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

- The Golden Rock’s favorite Japanese enka singer Jero has been spending this Spring all over the Japanese spotlight as his single remains on the Oricon charts. Now the Washington Post finally found a chance to sit down with him.

That post in Japan Probe also include his latest TV ad for a canned coffee. It’s not that great.

The Golden Rock - May 16th, 2008 Edition

With Cannes underway, I’m trying to stay away from one acquisition news after another, though there are naturally always interesting things going on throughout the festival.

- On that note, a Hong Kong distributor has picked up the controversial Japanese documentary Yasukuni for international sales, and is currently being screened at the Cannes market.

- I’m sure this will open up more and more studies about youths today - A survey reports that 95% of Japanese fifth graders own a game console. Even more humorous is that the variety show London Hearts has been voted as the show parents don’t want their kids watching for the 5th year in a row.

- I reported earlier that ex-Morning Musume member Ai Kago will be in a Hong Kong film, and now it’s been revealed that the film co-stars Vanness Wu and Sammo Hung. Put in Daniel Lee, and you’ve got a trifecta.

- The Cannes market again attracted attention to Bollywood, whose studios have been branching at markets such as this.

- Poor Koda Kumi just can’t catch a break - the pop star recently returned to work on her concert tour after a suspension for making insensitive comments on the radio, but now she’s no longer as the spokeswoman for Kirin, who decided not to renew the contract. She will now replaced by Kyoko Fukada.

The Golden Rock - May 1st/May 2nd, 2008 Edition

- It was a public holiday in Hong Kong on Thursday opening day, so the box office gross were fairly high.Iron Man, which opened on April 30th here, had a pretty big May Day with HK$2.6 million from 57 screens for a 2-day total of HK$4.09 million. It should have no problem with hitting that HK$10 million mark by the end of the weekend. Another film with an impressive per-screen average is the period drama The Other Boleyn Girl, which made HK$254,000 from just 6 screens on its opening day. There’s also the Japanese film Mari and Her Three Puppies, which made HK$772,000 from 22 screens (with only one playing the original Japanese version). Wong Jing’s latest My Wife is a Gambling Maestro got past the HK$10,000 per-screen average as well with HK$371,000 from 27 screens on opening day. Hell, even crocodile thriller Rogue made HK$73,000 from 7 screens. Sadly, Lawrence Lau’s Besieged City made only HK$38,000 from 6 screens.

- It’s Oricon charts time! Korean boy band TVXQ’s latest single debuts on top yet again, with male trio Shuchishin staying at 2nd place. Meanwhile, Arashi’a latest album tops the albums chart, with Bennie K’s compilation debuting far behind at 2nd place.

More over at Tokyograph.

- On the heels of L For Love, L For Lies‘ success, writer/director Patrick Kong is already shooting his next film, though with the cast of Alice Tzeng and Andy On instead of Stephy Tang and Alex Fong Lik-Sun. Is he trying to move into auteur territory here?

- In related news, Stephy Tang has just started work on her latest film, a Chan Hing-Ka-directed comedy in which she plays an underwear inspector. The film also features Ronald Cheng, Andy On (the man’s got a lot of work lately), and the Shine Boys. Didn’t Chan Hing-Ka already make a comedy about underwear?

- Japanese newspaper Nikkan Sports have been revealing the winners for their yearly drama Grand Prix all week. Here are the winners:

Best Drama: Yukan Club
Best Actor: Jin Nakaishi - Yukan Club
Best Actress: Maki Horikita - Hanazakari no Kimitachi e
Best Supporting Actor: Shuichi Nakatsu - Hanazakari no Kimitachi e
Best Supporting Actress: Yu Kashii - Yukan Club

Be sure to remember that the winners were voted by the general public, and both these dramas feature popular idols. This means the result may not reflect the true quality of these shows.

- Organizers at the Cannes Film Festival have announced Blindness, the latest from City of God director Fernando Meirelles, as the opening film. This marks the first time a Japanese film has been selected as the opening film at Cannes because the film is actually a co-production between Brazilian, Canadian, and Japanese production companies. It also features Japanese actors Yoshino Kimura and Yusuke Iseya. Jason Gray has more details about the co-production deal.

- Under “various Korean film news” today, Twitch has a teaser for King and the Clown director Lee Jun-i’s latest Sunny, about a Korean woman who joins the entertainment troupe to find her husband fighting in the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, a Korean dance group will join the production of the latest Hollywood teen-oriented dance movie Hype Nation, with 60% of the film to be shot in South Korea. Tezza director Choi Dong-Hoon is now working on a big-budget superhero film. Lastly (because it’s only somewhat related), the horribly-titled multi-national martial arts film Laundry Warriors has wrapped filming.

- Emperor Motion Pictures hasn’t really had it hit in a while, so I’m just wondering, where did they get the money to finance in a major Hollywood production?

- In a recent visit to The University of Southern California, Chinese director Feng Xiaogang talks about how much he hated Forbidden Kingdom. These are his words translated (original Chinese text from Apple Daily):

“The film’s story itself is already problematic. It’s a mess. I just couldn’t keep watching. I don’t know why it’s doing so well at the American box office. I would not dumb down something to simply please the American audience. ”

I didn’t like the film either, but dyamn!

The Golden Rock - April 26th, 2008 Edition

- Let’s look at Hong Kong Thursday opening day box office. Forbidden Kingdom had a huge opening day, making HK$1.03 million from 47 screens. Of course, the fact that over 90% of the screens playing it are the Cantonese-dubbed version helps boost the gross. Barbara Wong’s sequel to Sixth Floor Rear Flat debuts rather flat with just HK$270,000 from 30 screens and will have to look for a big boost over the weekend from the kids. Somehow, small romance ensemble film Love is Elsewhere made its way to third place with HK$107,000, beating Chocolate by about HK$2,000. The Hollywood comedy Over Her Dead Body opened with just HK$55,000 from 10 screens. More on Monday with the full chart.

-It’s Taiwan music charts time! Victor Wong’s latest album tops the chart in its first week, taking up 9.14% of total sales;Nicholas Teo’s compilation debuts at second place with roughly 5% of total sales; Korean boy band Shinhwa debuts at 4th place with 2.17%; Jordan Chan’s album drops from 8th place to 20th place in its second week, and Jeff Chang’s album didn’t see much improvement in its second week either.

- More on John Woo’s Red Cliff in today’s Ming Pao. Most importantly, the big battle scenes seen in the first trailer will be in the second film coming later this year rather than the first part coming out in July. According to the report, the first film will mostly set up the relationships while the second film will deliver the action.

- Variety’s John Hopewell writes more about the Asian selections at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, or the lack thereof.

- Ai Kago, most famous for being kicked out of Japanese pop collective Morning Musume, is back in show business and has announced that she will be in a Hong Kong film, even though she herself doesn’t know anything about the movie yet.

- Saitama, known as a “commute prefecture” where people who work in Tokyo live, is a prefecture I’ve frequented quite a bit in my recent trips to Japan, and it’s also the only prefecture that hasn’t been the setting for a NHK morning drama. Now it’ll be the setting of the network’s 60th morning drama, Tsubasa.

- Ming Pao also reports that producer Raymond Wong is planning to bring back the traditional Lunar New Year movie with All’s Well, Ends Well ‘09. It’ll be directed by Vincent Kuk with Sandra Ng and Raymond Wong on the cast so far. Producers are reportedly wooing Louis Koo for a major role as well.

The Golden Rock - February 26th, 2008 Edition

Again, not much news in the world of Asian entertainment, so we’ll just keep combining box office reports with the other entries.

- Yesterday, I linked to a review of the Korean surprise hit thriller The Chaser. Looks like it actually did even better in its second weekend, making 4.4 billion won, a 23% increase from its opening weekend. It’s already gone past the million admission mark, and may even surpass current surprise hit, the handball film Forever The Moment.

Full box office report from Mark Russell’s Korea Pop Wars 

- A preview of tomorrow’s Oricon report: The first African-American enka singer Jero managed to score a 4th place debut for his first single Umiyuki. While I doubt that it sold 3.5 million copies (I bet you it’s 35,000, as 10,000 is a number value in Japanese) , it apparently sets the record for the best debut for an enka singer. His MTV really sucks, but he’s a pretty damn good singer.

- Japanese actress Yu Aoi has been on this blogger’s radar since Shunji Iwai’s Hana and Alice. However, I never realized that she’s more often seen in film than TV. That shall be no more, as now she’s set to star in her first TV drama this coming Spring.

- It’s trailers time! People say Japanese films are weird, and after watching the trailer for the double feature film Ghost Vs. Alien, I honestly cannot really defend that claim. But, hey, I wish I had thought making making a love story between a ghost and an alien too. Good thing I then watched the 60-second teaser for Mamoru Oshii’s The Sky Crawlers and everything seemed normal again.

- In more animation news, the surprise animated hit Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone won the Animation of the Year award at the Tokyo International Anime Fair. The kicker is that the actual fair isn’t until the end of March. Thanks for ruining the surprise…you organizers.

- Lastly, Jason Gray writes about the strange recent twists in a 1981 murder in Los Angeles of a Japanese woman and how the hell it all connects to Japanese cinema. It’s a strange and fascinating read.

The Golden Rock - February 21st, 2008 Edition

- Edison Chen has returned to Hong Kong alive and limbs intact. Oh, he also apologized many times and says he quits Hong Kong entertainment. However, he didn’t say whether he’ll give up his career in Hollywood as well.

Here’s the video

The always-informative EastSouthWestNorth reports on the always-controversial Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority’s way of classifying the photos (they were classified because they were subsequently published partially in Hong Kong magazines and for the courts to determine whether the police had a case against those who uploaded the photos). While showing private parts can be considered “obscene,” it’s hard to believe that one adjudicator actually believed that Bobo Chan and Edison Chen’s tongues ought to be blacked out.

- Time for Japanese box office numbers: L: Change The World is still rocking the Japanese box office, despite losing a higher-than-usual 41% of its business (in all fairness, it had a huge opening weekend, so a huge drop was inevitable). The Glorious Team Batista lost 35%, retaining a second place finish. With screen count and gross reported, Elizabeth: The Golden Age’s opening isn’t all that impressive after all. With nothing big opening until The Golden Compass on March 1st, expect L to continue its rule on the box office.

By the way, if you’re wondering what Naoko is, it’s the new sports drama starring Juri Ueno. Check out a trailer here.

- In Korean box office, Jumper took the number one spot as expected (it’s not a very good movie, but it wasn’t that bad), and the low-budget thriller The Chaser (which actually got a 500-screen release, that’s even more than Jumper) opened not too far behind at second place. More from Mark Russell at Korea Pop Wars.

- It’s Oricon charts time! On the singles chart, Porno Graffiti has the number 1 single, doing much better than the film the single is the theme song to. On the albums chart, M-Flo’s latest compilation barely debuts on top. More from Tokyograph.

By the way, Jero, Japan’s first Black enka singer (as introduced by Japan Probe), released his first single 2 days ago, and it has already gone up to 6th place on its second day. Seriously, he’s not that bad of a singer, just never make an MTV like that again.

And Japanese pop duo Kobukuro’s Tsubomi is now the most downloaded cell phone ringtone of a Japanese pop song ever.

- The Hong Kong Film Development Fund, which pours government money up to 40% of an approved film’s budget, has given money to its first two films. The first is the latest McDull film, and the second is Claustrophobia, Ivy Ho’s directorial debut starring Ekin Cheng and Karena Lam that was previously reported on this blog. Apparently, Claustrophobia was approved despite its artsy premise because of those involved.

-  With the program for the Hong Kong International Festival announced, the organizers have announced that Japanese directors Yoji Yamada and Yuya Ishii will be getting honors at the Asian Film Awards.

- Kaiju Shakedown looks at how China is slowly losing grip of its media and people by trying to grip harder ahead of the Olympics.

-  Continuing with Japan’s “let’s make movies out of songs” trend, Liar Game star Erika Toda will star in a short drama based on a Monkey Majik song that will be distributed online. It’s part of a series of such films from Fuji TV.

- The poster for the third (and reportedly the last) Patrick Kong-Stephy Tang-Alex Fong Lik-Sun film L for Love, L for Lies is out, and it’s…Okinawa Rendezvous?!  Ready for it or not, it’s coming out on March 13th.

- Warner Bros. and Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company has announced they will remake the famous Japanese comic Akira into two live-action films. Apparently, the remake will stick to the original comic rather than the classic animated film.

- Variety’s Russell Edwards has a review for the anticipated low-budget ultraviolent cult film Machine Girl.

- Under “Hong Kong gossip not really worth reporting globally” news today, Hong Kong director Ringo Lam was arrested for getting into a fight with his neighbor, who may or may not have thrown a bucket at his car. Obviously, this neighbor didn’t see what Ringo Lam did to Kelly Lin in his section of Triangle.

The Golden Rock - January 15th, 2008 Edition

- The first week of the Winter 2008 season has gone by for Japanese dramas and the ratings are in. The Negotiator leads the way with its premiere episode hitting a 16.7 rating. The only other drama that beat that this past week was the long-running detective drama Aibou. The Misaki Ito-starring drama Edison No Haha premiered with just 11.0% rating; The Kenkuro Kudo-penned drama Mirai Koushi Meguru, starring Kyoko Fukada, started even weaker with just a 9.0 rating. However, an excuse for that is that it played at 11:15 Friday night, a time slot that usually see 12% as successful.

The boxing drama One-Point Gospel, starring one of the Kat-tun boys, premiered with a 13.0 rating; the first drama adaptation of the popular comic Honey and Clover also premiered with a relatively weak 12.9 rating (though it’s trying to attract audiences with the popularity of the comic rather than the cast); and the time limit-based drama Ashita no Kita Yoshio also only scored a 12.7 rating.

As Tokyograph reported, the Monday 9pm Fuji drama Bara No Nai Hanaya did open strong with a 22.4% rating, but that was last night, so we’ll talk about it next week.

All Winter 2008 drama information here.

- According to the Hong Kong Film Blog, a new Donnie Yen film is in the works. The name? Hong Kong Vice. Yen will play a mentor to a female detective. Not sure if this is indeed an approved remake of Miami Vice, or whether they just ripped off the name for someone cheap and quick.

- Variety’s Derek Elley has a fairly positive review for Peter Chan’s The Warlords.

- There’s a rumor out there in the Chinese press about John Woo getting ready to move on to his next project: A historical epic about Mao Tze-Tung’s rise to power and Chiang Kai-Shek’s move to Taiwan. With the sensitive political environment, I doubt China is going to let him pull this off.

- After Stephen Chow boasted about his intentions to make audiences cry when watching his latest film CJ7 because it’s “heartwarming,” now he’s boasting that the special effects by Menford will be up to international standards. In case you don’t know, Menford also did the special effects for The Legend of Zu and A Chinese Tall Story. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

The Golden Rock - December 19th, 2007 Edition

We took a short break with the news stuff because of the general lack of news this week. But now we’re back.

- In Japanese drama ratings, several dramas have already wrapped up. Sadly, no drama has wrapped on their season-high ratings yet. Especially disappointing is the finale to this season’s hit drama Galileo, which wrapped up with a season-low 19.6 rating, which makes me wonder what they did to piss of the viewers. Nevertheless, it’s by far the hit of the season with a 21.9 average rating overall. Abarenbo Mama also wrapped up with an OK 14.2 rating after hitting a season low last week. Meanwhile, Dream Again and Mop Girl also saw a rebound in their ratings for their final episodes, wrapping up with 11.9 and 9.4, respectively. Even the super disappointment of the season, Hatachi No Koibito, managed to recover slightly for an 8.2 rating for its finale.

That should wrap up The Golden Rock’s coverage of this disappointing Japanese drama season.

-  The nominations for the Japanese Academy Awards were announced. I was wondering where Tokyo Tower was when those other small awards were being announced, and now it shows up with a leading 13 nominations. That means it was nominated in every single category it was eligible for. While these type of films tend to end up sweeping the awards, this year there’s also Always 2, whose first installment swept that year’s awards. The hit sequel scored 12 nominations, with it not nominated only in the best actress category.

Also, there’s the current awards favorite, Masayuki Suo’s I Just Didn’t Do It, which picked up 11 nominations. With no clear leaders in the nominations (they tend to just nominate the same movies in every category, regardless whether the lighting direction in Tokyo Tower is good or not), these three will probably be be very close in awards count by award night.

Partial list on Variety Asia

Complete list (in Japanese) at the website.  I’ll try and translate it in a few days if I have time.

- Honestly, this news is even more exciting than the Japanese Academy Awards: Chow Yun Fat has just signed on to the live-action Dragonball movie to be produced by Stephen Chow. This movie just got itself some street cred.

- Almost forgot those Oricon charts. Exile ends up selling 670,000 copies of their latest album after they announced a million copies were shipped (as in shipped to stores, not sold, while V6 wins the singles chart, though Zard’s posthumous single managed to be right behind at 2nd place. Don’t be surprised if “Tupac”-like rumor starts popping up about Zard.

More details at Tokyograph.

Forget Exile, Koda Kumi is still the queen of the Oricon charts, selling 7.3 billion yen worth of CDs and DVDs in 2007. Meanwhile, Sen No Kaze Ni Natte wins best-selling single, and Mr. Children has the year’s best-selling Japanese album.

- Hong Kong’s new Film Development Council is working on greelighting the first project to use their pool of US$38.5 million. However, while the conditions about the major talents being from Hong Kong are reasonable, the ones about having at least 50% financed by private sector and the director/producer having released at least two films in the last ten years….not so fair. Oh, and they’re not even judging on artistic merit, which means a Jingle Ma comedy - commercially appealing, but probably artistically vomit-inducing - can potentially get government funding.

-While TBS opens up another new slot for drama on Saturday night at 8pm (not a prime drama slot if you ask me), Fuji TV has named their next drama at the breakout Saturday 11pm slot. Lost Time Life will be made up of 9 separate stories (running, I assume, for 9 episodes), each about how a person would choose make up the time they waste in their lives. Interesting, but potential cheesy.

That’s it, The Golden Rock is going on vacation. That means daily posts will not happen until after the new year. There’s still a few entries coming up, but this will be the last news post of the year, unless something big comes up. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen