Friday, January 26, 2007

Box office numbers and predictions

- In the Japanese box office this past weekend, the biggest Japanese film opening was "Shall We Dance" director Masayuki Suo's first film in 11 years "Soredemo Boku wa yattenai" (Even then, I Still Didn't Do It). It's gotten some strong reviews , but it garnered only a 116 million yen opening on 203 screens for a 5th place opening. However, Hoga Central reports that it's expected to hit that ever-important billion yen mark. We'll see if the power of word of mouth will work as well as it has for Yoji Yamada's "Bushi no Ichibun"

source: Box Office Mojo, Hoga Central.

- Meanwhile, Johnnie To's Election is being released is one theatre in Japan, and Japan Times has a very positive review for it.

source: Japan Times.

- Thursday numbers are out for Hong Kong. Look for Blood Diamond and Happy Birthday to lead the pack again. The biggest performer of this week's opening, and the widest release, is Tom Tykwer's Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, which did HK$160,000 on 21 screens (with a 7619 per-screen average) for third place. The Japanese film "Taiyo no Uta" (or called Midnight Sun in Hong Kong) opened with only $90,000 on 16 screens, despite advertising around the city and radio play for the theme song. Taiwanese film "Eternal Summer" (nicknamed as the male version of "Blue Gate Crossing") opened with a decent HK$70,000 on 8 screens (a decent 8750 per-screen), bringing its total to $HK100,000 (including the advance screenings this past weekend). It'll do strong but limited numbers for the weekend, thanks to the category-III rating and the limited amount of theatres.


So the winner of the Hong Kong box office holiday battle is actually Casino Royale. However, this is only winner in dollar amount because it seems that any films longer than 140 minutes would mean an increase of HK$10 in admissions (Casino Royale runs a hefty 146 minutes, and Babel gets the same treatment since its running time is 142 minutes). If an average ticket price in Hong Kong is HK$50, this would mean the final gross have been inflated as much as 20%. If the actual attendance number is counted a la Korean box office figures, Curse of the Golden Flower may've won the final battle. We'll never know.

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