Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A new week

And a lot more news than I expected, so let's rip through this sucker

- Before they take this thing down, check out Hollywood Elsewhere's links to the screaming matches between Lily Tomlin and director David O. Russell on the set of I Heart Huckabees. I think Russell's made some great works, but the guy looks like a downright asshole.

- Hong Kong Sunday numbers are up, and as expected, 300 takes the top slot. However, the grosses weren't as high as I expected, considering that it grossed a phenomenal HK$1 million on Thursday. Instead, it made HK$1.69 million on 42 screens (a great number by any count) for a 4-day total of HK$6.47 million, including previews. Meanwhile, Ghost Rider is in second with HK$340,000 on 34 screens for a 11-day total of HK$5.76 million, The Haunted School is at HK$120,000 on 14 screens for a 4-day total of HK$480,000, and Dororo just can't seem to get the audiences in seats by earning just HK$120,000 on 18 screens for a sad sad HK$380,000 4-day cume.

Good news for the limited releases though, as Pan's Labyrinth draws in HK$120,000 on only 4 screens, while Ann Hui's The Postmodern Life of My Aunt actually saw increased business with HK$100,000 on 5 screens. I knew Hong Kong audiences can't just turn away a movie with Chow Yun Fat like that.

- The major Japanese dramas wrapped up this week, including the big three - Haken No Hinkaku (about temp office workers in Japan), Hana Yori Dango 2 (or who I mockingly called the Flower Boys), and Karei Naru Ichizoku (the big-budget rich family epic). Being a disliker of those Flower Boys and its positive word-of-mouth, I was afraid that the final episode would be higher than Karei Naru Ichizoku. But Kimura Takuya and his huge messed-up family rallied for a huge win with a 30.4% rating and a final average of a slightly disappointing 23.9 rating, while the Flower Boys did get a huge boost with a 27.9% rating for a final average of 21.7. The biggest boost, however, went to Haken No Hinkaku, who followed up its 19.9 rating for its 9th episode with a 26.0% rating for its last episode to get a 20.1% average.

The overall ratings this season are higher, since only one drama only got higher than a 20 rating average at the same season last year(while this season saw 3). But while Karei Naru Ichizoku did achieve a higher average than Kimura Takuya's last drama Engine (I mention Kimura Takuya because he is the main draw for Karei Naru Ichizoku, considering all the posters around Tokyo has just his big face on it), but this is a man whose dramas once earned a 34.2 average (Hero in 2001), so a 23.9 rating for a big anniversary drama maybe not be so impressive.

Even a national newspaper reported on the huge ratings Karei Naru Ichizoku got, so let's just all admit that it was pretty huge and all cheer like supportive people should.

Source: Drama News.

- The Japanese box office attendance rankings are also out, and Night at the Museum opened big at number 1, while the Doraemon movie held on a number 2. Drama adaptation Unfair the Movie opened at number 3, Happy Feet at number 4, and Deja Vu at number 5. As reliable as I can get numbers will come tomorrow, hopefully.

- Actress Ryoko Shinahara must be having a really happy week - her headlining drama Haken no Hinkaku got huge ratigns for its finale (which means let's get her back for a sequel and stat!), and now her drama adaptation Unfair the Movie opens huge at 370 million yen, despite the drama only getting a 15.4 rating (which means Haken's boost must've rolled over to Unfair too). Eiga Consultant predicts that this has gotta be pretty good omen for upcoming drama adaptations Saiyuki (a bastardization of the most beloved Chinese fairy tale ever Journey to the West) and Hero, which had a 22.8 and 34.2 average, respectively.

- After the critical failure of the last Studio Ghibli film Tales From Earthsea (which has been rumored to be Studio Ghibli officials' way of hooking Hayao Miyazaki to come back and save the studio's reputation by making one more film), Mr. Miyazaki's latest project has finally been announced. According to Hoga News, it'll be Gake No Ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on the Cliff), a story of a goldfish princess who wants to be human and a 5-year old boy. A producer said that it's based on a time when Goro Miyazaki (Hayao's son, and the one who directed Tales from Earthsea while detailing how horrible a father Hayao was on his blog) was 5 years old. Maybe this is Hayao's attempt for a father-son reconciliation.

- Speaking of release dates, Stephen Chow's latest A Hope has secured one too. Ming Pao writes this:


Current reports indicate that post-production is basically done, and it will be sent to the Bureau for Film, Radio, and Television for inspection. Since the film is touching story about love between father and son, there's no sensitive material, it should have no problem getting through the inspection. It's now tentatively set for a June 25th nationwide opening.

The story is something about a poor kid picking up a communicator that allows him to communicate with an alien, and the alien feel so sorry for the kid and his father (played by Stephen Chow) that it helps them out by punishing those that bully them. Sounds like good ol' family fun indeed.

Original Chinese report is here.

- Youtube has a 5-minute trailer to the lesbian love story "Spider Lilies," starring Taiwanese pop star Rainie Yang and Hong Kong pop star Isabella Leong. Rainie does even a nice little strip tease in the beginning. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, and will be shown at the Hong Kong International Film Festival as well.

- The Hong Kong Entertainment Expo is underway, and Variety Asia's got you covered with a guide to fine dining and a guide to Hong Kong fashion shopping.

- At Hong Kong's Asian Film Awards tonight, expect Andy Lau to get the "box office star" award. Excerpt from Ming Pao as follows:


According to the "Hong Kong United Artist Cinemas Anniversary Awards" in December of 2005, Andy Lau's film has grossed a total of HK$170 million. In the last one-year period, "A Battle of Wits" and "Protege" has grossed a total of over HK$41 million, and that's just Hong Kong box office gross. Calculating the box office gross for Andy Lau's films in Asia would come up with even more amazing numbers.

And why do people still just take Andy Lau as the next Hong Kong Chief Executive as a joke? He might just be the democratically-voted leader both China and Hong Kong can agree with.

Chinese report is here.

- Twitch's logboy post a huge list of reviews for films he watched recently. None of them are complete, but they are another man's opinions on some interesting Asian films that's worth checking out.

- It's all been reported out, but Mark Schilling wrote a comprehensive round-up of the recent Japanese health show scandal, which made the media turn against its own by leading a charge to uncover as much false data as possible.

- Twitch also has a review of the Ultimate Edition DVD of Versus. It was crazy and sometimes inspired fun, but was it really that great? Adrenaline-pumping does not a great movie made. Perhaps after the reported major tweaking, it's now a better film. I'll have to check this out.

- Those who were sad about Hong Kong girl group At 17's split (I'm one of them) should rejoice, since Ming Pao has confirmed that the split is only for a half year. Ming Pao reports the following:


After the concert, the sisters will have to work apart the second half of the year. Ellen will star in a musical with Chet lam, and Eman (Chet Lam's sister) will release a comic collection. They'll reunite to release an album at the end of the year.


The original Chinese report is here.


YTSL said...

Some additional information re THE POSTMODERN LIFE OF MY AUNT: i.e., it may not be going great guns at the box office but its single 2007 Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF) screening has sold out! :)

GoldenRockProductions said...

That is true, and it's been garnering some pretty good word-of-mouth around Hong Kong, which is what a good small Ann Hui film needs!