Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Back with a vengenace part 2

Been gone for a bit, now I'm back, hopefully sticking to a regular posting schedule again.

- Obviously, the big story is the domination of Spiderman 3 pretty much all over the world. In North America alone, the second sequel to the popular franchise made US$151 million. I'll break down the individual Asian box office results (at least the ones I have) later, but after 5 days of release, it has already shattered all types of box office records (though the Box Office Mojo article suggests that's due to the super expanded release.) AND well on the way to recuperating its US$250 million budget (plus at least 150 million for advertising and print, minus 50% for exhibitors, actors' back end salaries, etc.), or dare I say - make a healthy profit.

- And when Box Office Mojo meant super expanded release, they mean Sony pretty much took up a majority of the screens available in the countries they invaded. Case in point - the film made another HK$5.78 million from 127 screens on Sunday in Hong Kong, bringing the 6-day total to an amazing HK$28.6 million already. This sucker is on the way to an at least HK$50 million take, which will be the biggest performer in Hong Kong since Initial D back in 2005. But don't expect it to surpass the HK$60 million box office take set by Kung Fu Hustle.

With 127 screens taken up already, there's not much room for anything else - Love is Not All Around (which Ming Pao columns are treating like it's the second coming) continues to succeed with HK$240,000 on 31 screens for a 18-day total of HK$11.41 million, Paul Verhoeven's Black Book continues to perform strongly on its 2 screens with HK$40,000 on Sunday, and well....everything else is just kinda embarrassing.

(US$1=HK$7.8)

- The same thing happened in South Korea, where Spidey took up 816 screens and attracted 2.56 million viewers (just a tad under The Host). And just like Hong Kong, everything else got left in the dust.

- In Japan, on the other hand, Spiderman still made a boatload of money, but since people in Japan got the entire week off, the box office was quite strong. After 6 days, Spidey managed to make 3.18 billion yen and recording 2.57 million viewers already. But most films on the top 10, such as Gegege no Kitaro and Conan, actually managed to record increasing box office for the latter half of Golden Week (Gegege actually recorded the biggest increase). Last weekend's other big opener Babel lost about 20% of its audience, but still scored a strong 218 million yen and has already passed the 1 billion yen mark.

In fact, remember last weekend, when Gegege no Kitaro opened, and Shochiku proclaimed that it'll make 3 billion because The Great Yokai War made 2 billion? Turns out they were right! Eiga Consultant realized that the opening weekend for Gegege was actually 175% of The Great Yokai War, which means it's now on the way to make at least 3.5 billion yen. Wow, they got it right for once.

(US$1=120 yen)

- Since many in Japan travel during Golden Week, TV ratings also went further down for a bit. Last week's ratings winner Proposal Daisakusen takes a huge dive because of its Monday time slot, losing 21% of its audience for a 13.4 rating. However, ratings for other dramas also stabilized a little bit - ratings disaster Sexy Voice and Robo steadies with a 7.0 rating, Bambino falls a little bit for its third episode with a 13.7 rating, sequel Kui-Tan 2 drops to its lowest rating with 11.8, and ratings disappointment Joudan Janai goes up a little bit again with 14.4, up from 13. 2 last week, when it was the beginning of Golden Week.

- Anyone that doesn't feel like shelling out a lot of money for a book on Korean history can now just get the official version. According to Twitch, the Korean Film Council now has an English version of a book of Korean film history on their website.

- Johnnie To is no longer under the control of Dennis Law. Milky Way Image, which is under Law, can no longer afford To's movies, so To decided to just buy his way out, taking two subsidiaries, which includes his own Milkyway Image, and his production team with him. Once the split is approved, Law's company will no longer be Milkyway, but Brilliant Arts (which is just plain ironic, considering Law's quality of work).

- I still haven't seen War of Flowers (or Tezza: The High Rollers), and they're already making a sequel. Even though the sequel won't be made by the director of the original, they were creative enough to bring on Jang Joon-Hwan, the man who made the cult favorite Save the Green Planet (file this under "like, but don't love" category for me), to do it instead. Like I just wrote, I haven't seen the original, but is a director who made something as crazy as Save the Green Planet really up for a high-profile sequel for a blockbuster film?

- The Thailand film censorship issue continues, this time with Variety Asia writing about Thai filmmakers' petitions for a new Film Act that allows freedom of expression.

3 comments:

rachael said...

gegege no kitaro looks fun but silly - maybe all the girls are watching for eiji wentz?

i don't know why sexy voice and robo is falling down either. i have no interest in watching young girls marry 40 year old men.

munin said...

I guess the Johnnie To thing, for us as viewers, isn't as important as long as he takes with him the whole "good" part of Milky Way. Wondering what happens with Wai Ka Fai, though.

I still don't understand the whole company structure as it was before. When did Dennis Law get involved and when did the company become so big? Didn't To and Wai Ka Fai found the company on their own back in 1996?

GoldenRockProductions said...

rachael:

Gegege probably benefited from its prime release date and the existing reputation (the cartoon dates back to the 60s, I believe), although I'm sure Wentz's presence helped too. However, I wonder how people react to a half-foreigner portraying a beloved Japanese character.

As for Sexy Voice, I haven't watched it (which is my official position until I get a legit copy), but it seems to have this aspect that might only appeal to otakus rather than the general public. I'm not surprised that it's not a hit, especially since it's not playing at an establish drama time slot, but I didn't expect it to be that bad either.

munin:

I had no idea when Milkyway Image became a public company either. I guess Dennis Law's involvement helped not only Milkyway to be able to be financially independent (since they have branched out to different distributors for their films, instead of just Mei Ah and China Star). Of course, now that they realize Johnnie To only make profitable movies about half the time, they probably wanted out too.

As for Wai Ka Fai, he's probably still reeling from the failure of The Shopaholics, which was supposed to be the huge Lunar New Year comedy, but only made HK$8 million at the box office.