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Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

The Golden Rock - October 3rd, 2007 Edition

- It seems like I made a mistake last week in predicting this week’s Oricon charts because the daily charts at the time had not included the new singles yet. So the predictions from last week are completely wrong. On the singles chart, YUI’s latest, the theme song for the film Closed Note, debut at number one with about 87,500 copies sold. BoA’s latest is far far behind at 3rd place with about 28.400 copies sold. Ayumi Hamasaki’s latest actually did not top the charts again, falling to 4th place with just 18,700 copies sold. Next week (and this should be correct), expect rock superstar band B’z’s latest single to top the chart.

As Tokyograph predicted, Ai Otsuka’s latest album topped the albums chart with about 208,000 copies sold. Not too close behind at second place is personal favorite Tokyo Jihen’s 3rd album, which sold about 101,000 copies in its first week. Angela Aki’s album falls to 3rd place in its second week, and I can’t believe Hideaki Tokunaga’s cover album is still going this strong at 4th place. Next week, expect the album chart battle to be between Yuki’s or Yuzu’s compilation albums.

- I’m combining the box office and the regular entry into one today. The Japanese box office numbers came out, and there are a bunch of discrepancies between the numbers and the admissions ranking. Apparently the Isao Yukisada film Closed Note may have attracted less people than Perfect Stranger, but it make more cold, hard cash, putting it at 2nd place. The same thing happened between Fantastic 4 and No Reservations. Also, La Vie En Rose actually opened on 196 screens, which makes it 8th place opening kind of disappointing.

Actually, Closed Note’s second place opening isn’t all that swell, either. While it is 176% of the opening for Sugar And Spice ~ Fumi Zekka, it’s only 94% of the opening for Yukisada’s Haru no Yuki, which means the film will barely pass the 1 billion yen mark in box office.

- Speaking of Closed Note, its star Erika Sawajiri has apologized for her rudeness in a recent press conference for the film. Still, her appearance at the film’s screening at the Pusan Film Festival has been canceled due to the incident. I’m not exactly sure how not having her take an extra trip to Korea to promote a movie is punishment unless she was going to get paid.

- Speaking of Pusan, Hollywood Reporter has a bunch of reports from the festival. First, a general overview of this year’s festival, then a report on the new anti-piracy campaign being launched at the festival, and a preview of opening film The Assembly, which will see its world premiere on Thursday.

- Speaking of Feng Xiaogang, he has already casted Jiang Wen and Ge You for his next film, a comedy that pokes fun at the new overnight millionaires of China. Sounds like Feng is going back to his roots as a commercial comedy director.

- As a young aspiring filmmaker, this news is quite disappointing: The new Film Development Council of Hong Kong has announced their terms for disburse the HK$300 million film fund - by giving it to commercially-appealing films made by experienced filmmakers/producers. That means your director or producer has to have made at least 2 films, but yet your budget has to be kept under US$1.55 million (HK$12.1 million). Not that they’ll actually give you more than 30% of your budget anyway.

Do these people actually know how much it cost to make an audience-friendly, commercially-appealing movie these days? Your average movie star take at least HK$4 million already, and what commercially successful HK movie this year actually cost just HK$12 million? Obviously, the money should’ve gone more to developing young talents, but what can I say? I go to film school in Hong Kong, so that makes me biased by default.

- On the other hand, legendary Japanese filmmaker Yoji Yamada is working with the students of a film class he is currently teaching on a new film as part of a collaboration between Shochiku and a university in Kyoto. Eventually, the studio will establish a training facility with the students of the university as research interns. THIS is how you develop young talent, Hong Kong Film Development Council.

- Meanwhile, Yamada’s latest film Love & Honor, starring Kimura Takuya, has been picked up by tiny American distributor Funimation, and will be released in one New York cinema in November.

- It’s reviews time! From Variety, we have a short review by Robert Koehler for Christmas in August director Hur Jin-Ho’s latest film Happiness, and a review by Russell Edwards for the Japanese film Sea Without Exit.

- From Lovehkfilm, Kozo has reviews for Oxide Pang’s entertaining mystery-thriller The Detective, the shitter Wong Jing comedy Beauty and the 7 Beasts, the independent film Breeze of July, the Taiwanese film The Most Distant Course, and the 80s action film Angel. From Sanjuro are reviews of Japanese sports drama Rough and the Japanese drama A Long Walk. From yours truly are reviews of the Japanese art film The Many Faces of Chika and the independent award-winning film This World of Ours. Expect an interview with the director on this blog soon.

- Variety Asia has a feature on the future of film investment in Asia, as many major film markets in the region have been seeing a downturn in the number of productions. Of course, it was eventually going to happen anyway after so many years of growth.

- With over 200 million yuan, Michael Bay’s Transformers have become the second highest-grossing foreign film in China, just behind Titanic. I could say something about this, but I’ve run out of energy.

- World, meet Jeong Seung-Hye, one of Korea’s most promising up-and-coming producers.

- Creepy news coming out of Belgium, it seems like a note was found near where severed body parks were found in a park that may be connected to the Death Note comics. I think the killer forgot the part where he’s not supposed to do the murdering himself.

The Golden Rock - September 17th, 2007 Edition

It’s still Sunday in the states, and Asian films didn’t win anything in Toronto, so there’s just not that much news out there today:

- Apparently there is such a thing called “sex radio” in China. At least, radio shows that talk about sex. However, I will never be able to find out what they’re like, because they just got banned. I really wanted to know about the “efficacy of certain drugs for sex” too.

- Yutaka Takenouchi, whom I always believed to be a cooler version of Takashi Sorimachi, is returning to film after he was in Calmi Cuori Appassionati 6 years ago. This time it’s an adaptation of the story “Wenny Has Wings,” about how a tragic accident strains the bond of a family. I was really hoping he would just lighten up and do a comedy.

- After Hong Kong-based Max Makowski works on the ill-advised remake of Shinobi (the one that will be about Hong Kong triads instead of ninja clans), he will help revive the 70s television series Kung Fu for film after Allen and Albert Hughes (these guys haven’t really worked for a while) decided to take on another project. Please don’t tell me this one will involve triads too - just because you’re based in Hong Kong doesn’t mean it always have to be about triads.

- It’s more French than Asian, but Variety’s Ronnie Scheib has a review of the French film Plum rain, about a stage director who goes to Japan to oversee his play being performed there. That in itself makes it worthwhile of the blog.

- If you’re in Spain in October, be sure to check out the Sitges film festival. This year, you would apparently get to see Dai Nipponjin, Vexville, and Sukuiyaki Western Django, among other films.
- How can Toho simply let people take their most acclaimed films get into the hands of pirates? A Tokyo court has now ordered a company to halt production on their Kurosawa collection. Er….doesn’t that mean it’s time for Toho to release relaible and cheap DVDs of Kurosawa films?

The Golden Rock - September 17th, 2007 Edition

It’s still Sunday in the states, and Asian films didn’t win anything in Toronto, so there’s just not that much news out there today:

- Apparently there is such a thing called “sex radio” in China. At least, radio shows that talk about sex. However, I will never be able to find out what they’re like, because they just got banned. I really wanted to know about the “efficacy of certain drugs for sex” too.

- Yutaka Takenouchi, whom I always believed to be a cooler version of Takashi Sorimachi, is returning to film after he was in Calmi Cuori Appassionati 6 years ago. This time it’s an adaptation of the story “Wenny Has Wings,” about how a tragic accident strains the bond of a family. I was really hoping he would just lighten up and do a comedy.

- After Hong Kong-based Max Makowski works on the ill-advised remake of Shinobi (the one that will be about Hong Kong triads instead of ninja clans), he will help revive the 70s television series Kung Fu for film after Allen and Albert Hughes (these guys haven’t really worked for a while) decided to take on another project. Please don’t tell me this one will involve triads too - just because you’re based in Hong Kong doesn’t mean it always have to be about triads.

- It’s more French than Asian, but Variety’s Ronnie Scheib has a review of the French film Plum rain, about a stage director who goes to Japan to oversee his play being performed there. That in itself makes it worthwhile of the blog.

- If you’re in Spain in October, be sure to check out the Sitges film festival. This year, you would apparently get to see Dai Nipponjin, Vexville, and Sukuiyaki Western Django, among other films.
- How can Toho simply let people take their most acclaimed films get into the hands of pirates? A Tokyo court has now ordered a company to halt production on their Kurosawa collection. Er….doesn’t that mean it’s time for Toho to release relaible and cheap DVDs of Kurosawa films?

The Golden Rock - August 28th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter has a surprisingly informed (i.e. references to director’s earlier films) review of Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen’s Flash Point. Todd Brown also reviews Flash Point with mixed enthusiasm. Lovehkfilm’s Kozo chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Actually, AP’s Min Lee also chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Lovehkfilm’s Sanjuro writes a review for Nana 2, or how to ruin a franchise that couldn’t retain its actors. Lastly, there’s a review of Takashi Miike’s Ryu Go Gotoku by new guest reviewer at Lovehkfilm Jmaruyama.

- The return of Grady Hendrix’s Kaiju Shakedown is slowly rendering this blog useless. For one, he’s packed a whole weekend’s worth of Hong Kong film news into one entry, though some have already appeared here already.

- I was pretty young when I watched that animated series City Hunter on TV. Of course, with the time slot of after-midnight on Hong Kong’s TVB, it was like eating the fruit that is close to the location of the forbidden fruit (which would probably be say…porn), and it should tell you how far it has slip into the back of my mind, considering how young I was when I lived in Hong Kong. Now someone (the news didn’t specify) is bringing it back as a live-action drama with a Korean actor in the leading role.

- Taiwan is pissed because someone who writes for the Venice Film festival identified Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers as being from “Taiwan, China” while the Taiwanese art film Help Me Eros used just “Taiwan.” However, the two films are actually Taiwan/China co-productions, so could someone have just gotten lazy with their slashes?

- Apparently this is how the Japanese distributor of Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan decided to promote the film. Fitting or tasteless?

- Know how to tell that Jackie Chan is getting old? He’s hurt himself again on the set of his latest movie, but this time is because he triggered an earlier injury from another movie. Those back pains are no joke at his age.

- Another addition to the Tokyo International Film festival is Jigyaku No Uta (or “Happily Ever After) starring Miki Nakatani and Hiroshi Abe. Naturally, Kaiju Shakedown already has more.

- Aubrey Lam, whose Twelve Nights is a personal favorite, has a new film coming out called “Anna and Anna” starring Karena Lam. However, its plot description of two women in difference places that look the same sound somewhat similar to The Double Life of Veronique.

The Golden Rock - August 28th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter has a surprisingly informed (i.e. references to director’s earlier films) review of Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen’s Flash Point. Todd Brown also reviews Flash Point with mixed enthusiasm. Lovehkfilm’s Kozo chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Actually, AP’s Min Lee also chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Lovehkfilm’s Sanjuro writes a review for Nana 2, or how to ruin a franchise that couldn’t retain its actors. Lastly, there’s a review of Takashi Miike’s Ryu Go Gotoku by new guest reviewer at Lovehkfilm Jmaruyama.

- The return of Grady Hendrix’s Kaiju Shakedown is slowly rendering this blog useless. For one, he’s packed a whole weekend’s worth of Hong Kong film news into one entry, though some have already appeared here already.

- I was pretty young when I watched that animated series City Hunter on TV. Of course, with the time slot of after-midnight on Hong Kong’s TVB, it was like eating the fruit that is close to the location of the forbidden fruit (which would probably be say…porn), and it should tell you how far it has slip into the back of my mind, considering how young I was when I lived in Hong Kong. Now someone (the news didn’t specify) is bringing it back as a live-action drama with a Korean actor in the leading role.

- Taiwan is pissed because someone who writes for the Venice Film festival identified Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers as being from “Taiwan, China” while the Taiwanese art film Help Me Eros used just “Taiwan.” However, the two films are actually Taiwan/China co-productions, so could someone have just gotten lazy with their slashes?

- Apparently this is how the Japanese distributor of Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan decided to promote the film. Fitting or tasteless?

- Know how to tell that Jackie Chan is getting old? He’s hurt himself again on the set of his latest movie, but this time is because he triggered an earlier injury from another movie. Those back pains are no joke at his age.

- Another addition to the Tokyo International Film festival is Jigyaku No Uta (or “Happily Ever After) starring Miki Nakatani and Hiroshi Abe. Naturally, Kaiju Shakedown already has more.

- Aubrey Lam, whose Twelve Nights is a personal favorite, has a new film coming out called “Anna and Anna” starring Karena Lam. However, its plot description of two women in difference places that look the same sound somewhat similar to The Double Life of Veronique.

The Golden Rock - August 24th, 2007 Edition

- It was another active day at the Hong Kong box office on Thursday opening day. However, the bad news is that only one film actually did well. Granted, all 5 opening films got into the top 10 slots, but none of them opened on more than 30 screens. That’s why the top film was the box office flop Evan Almighty. On 29 screens, the Steve Carell-starring comedy made HK$780,000 on its opening day. Very far behind is yet another box office flop, The Invasion starring Nicole Kidman. On 28 screens, the remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers made just HK$360,000, doomed to repeat the same fate it did in the United States. Even the Thai horror film Alone, which I’m sure got some publicity from having its ads and trailers censored, got a better per-screen average, making HK$250,000 from 16 screens.

Now we’re down to the floppers. Not even the Wu and Woo names could get audiences to go catch Blood Brothers (I did though). On a meager 20 screens, the period action-drama made just HK$130,000. Doing a little better on the per-screen is the Japanese animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, featuring the voice of pop star Janice Vidal (er…last I checked, she couldn’t even speak Cantonese properly) on 15 out of its 16 screens, made just HK$110,000. Expect one of these to do better during the weekend, and it ain’t the one I’ve seen.

As for the holdovers, Rush Hour 3 is good as dead with just HK$310,000 on 34 screens for an 8-day total of HK$5.43 million (remember Jackie Chan himself has a stake in this, as he owns the distribution rights for the Chinese-speaking regions), and Wilson Yip’s Flash Point with Donnie Yen is not looking to get to the HK$10 million mark with HK$8.28 million after 15 days. I thought it was good enough to make more, but hey, that’s just me.

- With the news yesterday about the new Japanese film database by Eiren, Jason Gray shares a few more already existing Japanese movie databases. Yay, more references to cross-check.

- China box office is on the rise, expecting to make 3 billion yuan. However, quite a big chunk of that has been from those really huge Hollywood movies, though a lot of that is expected to be from the high-profile Chinese films at the end of the year.

- It’s from those guys at Oriental Daily again, which is strange because they keep picking up the only stories that at least two other major Hong Kong newspapers don’t pick up. This time, Soi Cheang’s Dog Bite Dog has been sold to be remade in India. I’m hoping that no song and dance is involved, and that the assassin won’t be from Pakistan (props to those who get the reference).

By the way, producer Sam Leung is apparently looking to do a sequel to Dog Bite Dog with the original cast. Having watched the film, how the hell are they going to pull that off?

- In more reports from Chinese newspapers, The Pye-Dog starring Eason Chan, which has yet to get a release in Hong Kong, will be heading to three different films festivals - Stockholm International Film Festival, the Asia Oceanic Film Festival (?), and the German International Innocence Films Festival (???).

- With Takeshi Kitano’s Glory to the Filmmaker (Kantoku Banzai) heading to Venice, the organizers have decided to establish a new award, and Kitano’s getting it. The name of the award? “Glory to the Filmmaker!”

The Golden Rock - August 24th, 2007 Edition

- It was another active day at the Hong Kong box office on Thursday opening day. However, the bad news is that only one film actually did well. Granted, all 5 opening films got into the top 10 slots, but none of them opened on more than 30 screens. That’s why the top film was the box office flop Evan Almighty. On 29 screens, the Steve Carell-starring comedy made HK$780,000 on its opening day. Very far behind is yet another box office flop, The Invasion starring Nicole Kidman. On 28 screens, the remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers made just HK$360,000, doomed to repeat the same fate it did in the United States. Even the Thai horror film Alone, which I’m sure got some publicity from having its ads and trailers censored, got a better per-screen average, making HK$250,000 from 16 screens.

Now we’re down to the floppers. Not even the Wu and Woo names could get audiences to go catch Blood Brothers (I did though). On a meager 20 screens, the period action-drama made just HK$130,000. Doing a little better on the per-screen is the Japanese animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, featuring the voice of pop star Janice Vidal (er…last I checked, she couldn’t even speak Cantonese properly) on 15 out of its 16 screens, made just HK$110,000. Expect one of these to do better during the weekend, and it ain’t the one I’ve seen.

As for the holdovers, Rush Hour 3 is good as dead with just HK$310,000 on 34 screens for an 8-day total of HK$5.43 million (remember Jackie Chan himself has a stake in this, as he owns the distribution rights for the Chinese-speaking regions), and Wilson Yip’s Flash Point with Donnie Yen is not looking to get to the HK$10 million mark with HK$8.28 million after 15 days. I thought it was good enough to make more, but hey, that’s just me.

- With the news yesterday about the new Japanese film database by Eiren, Jason Gray shares a few more already existing Japanese movie databases. Yay, more references to cross-check.

- China box office is on the rise, expecting to make 3 billion yuan. However, quite a big chunk of that has been from those really huge Hollywood movies, though a lot of that is expected to be from the high-profile Chinese films at the end of the year.

- It’s from those guys at Oriental Daily again, which is strange because they keep picking up the only stories that at least two other major Hong Kong newspapers don’t pick up. This time, Soi Cheang’s Dog Bite Dog has been sold to be remade in India. I’m hoping that no song and dance is involved, and that the assassin won’t be from Pakistan (props to those who get the reference).

By the way, producer Sam Leung is apparently looking to do a sequel to Dog Bite Dog with the original cast. Having watched the film, how the hell are they going to pull that off?

- In more reports from Chinese newspapers, The Pye-Dog starring Eason Chan, which has yet to get a release in Hong Kong, will be heading to three different films festivals - Stockholm International Film Festival, the Asia Oceanic Film Festival (?), and the German International Innocence Films Festival (???).

- With Takeshi Kitano’s Glory to the Filmmaker (Kantoku Banzai) heading to Venice, the organizers have decided to establish a new award, and Kitano’s getting it. The name of the award? “Glory to the Filmmaker!”

The Golden Rock - August 19th, 2007 Edition

- I reported earlier in the week that Ocean’s Thirteen opened fairly huge in Japan last weekend, bumping Transformers all the way from first to third place. Turns out its 380 million yen opening is only 70% of Ocean’s Twelve and 54% of Ocean’s Eleven. However, the film did open just before the weeklong Obon holidays in Japan, which means it might catch during the week and for this weekend as well. With no big Hollywood blockbusters opening this weekend, that is certainly seeming more likely now. We shall know by Tuesday.

- As reported yesterday, four of the five Hong Kong TVB Tigers of the late 80s (sans Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) are reuniting for the latest film by director Derek Chiu Sung-Kei. Now we can report that Brothers will be coming in October, and the Chinese-language Hong Kong film blog has pictures from the press conference showing the all-male cast.

- After scoring 10 nominations at the Golden Bauhinia Awards (without screening it at all anywhere publicly), there’s a trailer out for Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus. It might just be a teaser, but this is looking to be easily the strangest Pang film yet. Add the poster now in HK cinemas, this is lining up to be one of the most intriguing-looking Hong Kong film in a long time.

- This week’s Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri talks about the dramas Japanese television networks have for the fall to try and push the ratings back up. I don’t know, three detective dramas in one season looks to be a bit much.

- Yu Ha, who made the adult drama Marriage is a Crazy Thing in 2002, made two violent gangster dramas in a row- Once Upon a Time in High School and A Dirty Carnival. Now the poet/filmmaker is dipping his hand into the historical and possibly gay romance drama genre. Apparently, the director simply describes it as “a love story between men,” which would probably be a good pitch for Donnie Yen’s Flash Point.

- Japanese mega-producer Haruki Kadokawa and director Takashi Miike are teaming up (how many movies does Miike have in the pipe now? I count 3 including this one) for a sci-fi film named Kamisama no Puzzle (God’s Puzzle). I can’t tell whether it’s supposed to be a comedy or drama.

- Was anyone wondering how Andrew Lau’s Hollywood debut The Flock did in Japan (I believe it’s the first territory in the world to have it in theaters, but I could be wrong)? Along with The Pang Brothers’ The Messengers, The Flock opened on around 20-50 screens and ended up making less than 100 million yen. Yes, in Japan, they won’t even watch Hollywood films by Hong Kong directors.

100 million yen isn’t even US$1 million, by the way.

- Johnnie To’s Mad Detective (formerly named The Detective) is going to the Venice Film Festival after all. To refresh your memory, Mad Detective marks the first dramatic collaboration between Johnnie To and best actor winner Lau Ching-Wan since…..well, in a long ass time. That automatically should make it a film to look forward to.

- Hey, Australia. Don’t pirate movies and end up getting nothing like Canada.

Expect the Podcast to be back next week, and maybe that promised new feature tomorrow.

The Golden Rock - August 19th, 2007 Edition

- I reported earlier in the week that Ocean’s Thirteen opened fairly huge in Japan last weekend, bumping Transformers all the way from first to third place. Turns out its 380 million yen opening is only 70% of Ocean’s Twelve and 54% of Ocean’s Eleven. However, the film did open just before the weeklong Obon holidays in Japan, which means it might catch during the week and for this weekend as well. With no big Hollywood blockbusters opening this weekend, that is certainly seeming more likely now. We shall know by Tuesday.

- As reported yesterday, four of the five Hong Kong TVB Tigers of the late 80s (sans Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) are reuniting for the latest film by director Derek Chiu Sung-Kei. Now we can report that Brothers will be coming in October, and the Chinese-language Hong Kong film blog has pictures from the press conference showing the all-male cast.

- After scoring 10 nominations at the Golden Bauhinia Awards (without screening it at all anywhere publicly), there’s a trailer out for Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus. It might just be a teaser, but this is looking to be easily the strangest Pang film yet. Add the poster now in HK cinemas, this is lining up to be one of the most intriguing-looking Hong Kong film in a long time.

- This week’s Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri talks about the dramas Japanese television networks have for the fall to try and push the ratings back up. I don’t know, three detective dramas in one season looks to be a bit much.

- Yu Ha, who made the adult drama Marriage is a Crazy Thing in 2002, made two violent gangster dramas in a row- Once Upon a Time in High School and A Dirty Carnival. Now the poet/filmmaker is dipping his hand into the historical and possibly gay romance drama genre. Apparently, the director simply describes it as “a love story between men,” which would probably be a good pitch for Donnie Yen’s Flash Point.

- Japanese mega-producer Haruki Kadokawa and director Takashi Miike are teaming up (how many movies does Miike have in the pipe now? I count 3 including this one) for a sci-fi film named Kamisama no Puzzle (God’s Puzzle). I can’t tell whether it’s supposed to be a comedy or drama.

- Was anyone wondering how Andrew Lau’s Hollywood debut The Flock did in Japan (I believe it’s the first territory in the world to have it in theaters, but I could be wrong)? Along with The Pang Brothers’ The Messengers, The Flock opened on around 20-50 screens and ended up making less than 100 million yen. Yes, in Japan, they won’t even watch Hollywood films by Hong Kong directors.

100 million yen isn’t even US$1 million, by the way.

- Johnnie To’s Mad Detective (formerly named The Detective) is going to the Venice Film Festival after all. To refresh your memory, Mad Detective marks the first dramatic collaboration between Johnnie To and best actor winner Lau Ching-Wan since…..well, in a long ass time. That automatically should make it a film to look forward to.

- Hey, Australia. Don’t pirate movies and end up getting nothing like Canada.

Expect the Podcast to be back next week, and maybe that promised new feature tomorrow.

The Golden Rock - August 13th, 2007 Edition

The Golden Rock is back, around the same size and hopefully the same quality. Now reporting from Hong Kong, posting times will naturally be different, but hopefully still daily.

- As always, let’s look at the Hong Kong Sunday box office. Pixar’s Ratatouille has a very strong second weekend, making HK$1.63 million on only 34 screens for a 14-day total of HK14.81 million already. This should have no problem getting past the HK$25 million mark set by The Incredibles. Meanwhile, the three opening films opened neck-to-neck, with The Simpsons Movie (whose Hong Kong dub version features Josie Ho, Wyman Wong, Denise “HOCC” Ho, and pop star Ivana Wong) leading the pack, making HK$1.24 million on 37 screens for a 4-day total of HK$3.92 million. While The Bourne Supremacy is in third of the three films in total 4-day box office (HK$3.8 million), it was just under The Simpsons with HK$1.1 million on 31 screens. This means Wilson Yip’s Donnie Yen lovefest Flashpoint made HK$1.01 million on 33 screens, but did better overall this weekend with the 4-day total of HK$3.89 million(although this actually include the HK$200,000 from previews last weekend). With fairly positive word-of-mouth amongst Hong Kong moviegoers, this should cross the HK$10 million mark.

Don’t count those leftover films out, though. Transformers is already near the HK$35 million mark after 18 days by making HK$940,000 on 34 screens; Jay Chou’s Jay Chou lovefest Secret actually continues to hang on (probably thanks to the Jay Chou fans) with HK$640,000 on 31 screens (Variety Asia reports its box office success elsewhere in Asia here); even Harry Potter made HK$230,000 on 17 screens for a 33-day total of HK$49.98 million. Invisible Target, which pretty much got pushed out of theaters, looks to end its run with HK$13.19 million. All in all, this was a pretty huge weekend at the box office, which was probably helped by the passing typhoon and just generally crappy weather.

- In Japanese audience rankings, Transformers got pushed all the way down to third place for its second week by Ocean’s 13 and Harry Potter, which is somewhat surprising because it’s done so well with word-of-mouth elsewhere. Ocean’s 13 is the only new film in the top 10.

This week, Hideo Nakata’s Kaidan dropped from 8th place to 10th place in its second week, meaning that despite being somewhat well-reviewed, it’ll go away quickly amidst the late-Summer box office. It’s also the only adult-oriented Japanese blockbuster this summer. Kaidan’s opening is only 51% compared to the star’s last film The Murder of the Inugami Clan
and only 81% of Nakata’s The Ring 2 (although I don’t know why Eiga Consultant chose to compare with that). Looks like summer is just not the time for this type of films.

- In the Korean box office, D-War wins its second weekend with a total 5.06 million viewers already after a roughly 50% drop in attendance. Don’t count May 18 out, though, as it has already attracted over 4.5 million viewers. These two films have already surpassed Voice of a Murderer as the two best-grossing Korean films of the year.

- While it’s cool that the American animated series Afro Samurai will see all 5 of its episodes in Japanese theaters, the cooler part of this report is that Samuel L. Jackson will be in a planned live-action version.

- Under “This cannot be good” news today, Eric Tsang (a producer that can be said to have pretty low taste - look at what he did to the ending of Men Suddenly in Black 2) is teaming up with Wong Jing (an even cheaper producer who’s intelligent but makes movies of low taste and lack of originality - look at all of his movies) to remake the 1970 film The Seven Colour Wolf (I can’t confirm this English title because of the Yesasia name for it. Can anyone?), with Chung Su-Kei (who has made shit like Feel 100% 2003 and Nine Girls and a Ghost) taking the director’s seat. No word yet on who will star, I believe.

- Again, an artsy Japanese film that drove audiences away has taken a major award at an European film festival. Masahiro Kobayashi’s The Rebirth won the top award The Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. However, with two Asian films taking the top prize, the festival is apparently moving into the elitist artsy film festival that is drawing less interest from buyers.

- The Hong Kong entertainment news programs have been reporting for several days about Chung Siu-Tung’s latest period martial arts film (another one?!), this time with Kelly Chan in her first period role in a long time, Leon Lai, and Donnie Yen. It’s not very likely, however, that Yen will go topless in this one.

- In China, people are so insistent on seeing movies illegally and for free that they’re moving off the streets and into internet cafes.

- Under “who died and made him boss?” news today, Jackie Chan says that he hopes to finish the animated film Taiwanese director Edward Yang started working on for years before his death. Then again, the film IS based on Chan’s life, so I guess that would make him the new boss.

- Lastly, two major Thai directors are planning on developing the country’s first script development project, taking on 30 aspiring screenwriters on workshops and pitch meetings. This could, in the long run, breathe new life into the slowly-expanding Thai film industry.

Song of the Day will return some time this week, and expect something new with The Golden Rock this week as well.

 
 
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