Sunday, May 27, 2007

Enough with the titles

I don't know why I started putting titles for every entry, but after having to think of over 100 of them, I'm a little tired of them. So News from tomorrow on will just be under generic titles like "Golden Rock News for _______).

- The big worldwide opening this weekend is, as everyone knows by now, the third and (perhaps) final Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Spiderman 3 had already set the bar this summer with record openings all around the world. However, this blog only tracks a few, and it seems that Pirates isn't quite tall enough for the bar.

In Hong Kong on Thursday opening day, Pirates took up 119 screens and made HK$6.8 million (this may or may not include Wednesday night shows, if there were any). It was close, but it fails to break the Spiderman record, which is 7.38 million on 122 screens. There are going to be arguments that suggest Pirates made less because it's longer, but in Hong Kong, longer movies charge more money. In the case of Spidey, it saw a $10 extra charge because it runs at 140 minutes, while Pirates saw a $15 charge for the 168-minute length. Perhaps that's the reason people bulked - it's a three-hour movie that charges 15 dollars extra. This is the case where theater owners went a little too far in trying to make money, considering they are the ones pocketing this PLUS the 50% gross that's the usual theaterowner fee. Of course, I'm making it sound a little bad, but the truth is Pirates still scored one of the Hong Kong's biggest opening days ever.

On the rest of the top 10, Spiderman 3 still managed to make HK$600,000 on 33 screens for a 24-day total of HK$52.66 million. Gong Tau actually saw a better per-screen average than last week with HK$120,000 on 8 screens. There are only two openers, both limited releases, that entered the top 10: The animated Conan the tiny detective movie made HK$20,000 on 2 screens, which means it might be looking good this weekend for the family business. The art film The Go Master opened on one screen with HK$20,000. Looks like it'll be the counter-programming indie hit this weekend.

Oh, in America, Pirates also failed to beat Spidey's gross, though it also made a ton of money on Thursday night showings, which means it might be able to best Spidey's record 3-day numbers.

- An Asian-American filmmaker hits it huge in Cannes. Raised in rural Arkansas and studied film at Yale, Lee Issac Chung's Munyurangabo, about the Rwanda genocides, earned a rave review from Variety.

- Meanwhile, Fortissimo Films (which holds a number of Asian films, in case you wonder why it matters) have struck a bunch of deals at Cannes. Find out what Asian films are coming to your corner of the world.

- In the continuing saga of amateur college publishers versus the conservative Hong Kong society, there are now public comments criticizing the eight Obscene Articles Tribunal Adjudicators that participated in the mock classification of four articles, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong student newspaper.

Meanwhile, if anyone is still interested in what's going on, EastSouthWestNorth translated the whole questionnaire, including the mock answers, at the risk of being reported to the TELA for reprinting obscene materials. I'm not currently living in Hong Kong, so I don't believe I'm under the jurisdiction of this law (though I am a Hong Kong permanent resident), but much credit goes to Mr. Soong's work and his dedication to cover the important topics of Chinese media. He even goes into the entire classification process, which I have no idea how I managed to miss the link for.

- Speaking of conflicts, looks like Harvey Weinstein and Luc Besson is going at each other over The Weinstein Company's release of Besson's last film Arthur and the Invisibles. Even though Weinstein does have a record of screwing with their foreign acquisitions, I actually haven't really heard anything positive about Arthur and the Invisibles, it was probably going to flop anyway.

- Another conflict that might pop up is going on in Japan, where outspoken director Izutsu Kazuyuki (Pacchigi - Love and Peace) praised films in general.....except Kitano doesn't exactly care whether directors like films or not. This is ironic, considering Kitano's movie emulates just about all popular genres of film, which I figured only a director that likes film that do.

- After becoming a limited release hit in Hong Kong, Borat has finally landed in Japan. Playing in about 30 screens nationwide (including just one theater in central Tokyo), the limited release strategy is another step by Fox to try and understand the strange Japanese market, where there really hasn't been much of a pattern as to what type of Hollywood films work there (A.I. was a huge hit there while Batman Begins was not). Check out some of the more interesting promotional tactics. Also, the Shibuya theater linked above is offering admission for 1000 yen (scroll about one entry down) if you show up at the the theater on Mondays with a mustache on (fake mustache ok, but no stubble, not sure if the theater offers the mustache) and mention "hige" (mustache in Japanese) at the box office. Oh, and Japan Times has a review for it too.

- Japan Times also has a review of nationalist Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara-penned "For Those We Love," which he claims in an anti-war film....except reviewer Mark Schilling says Ishihara writes the war as "an idealistic crusade to free Asia from Western domination." Maybe it's just me, but that sounds awfully pro-WWII to me.

- The Hideo Nakata-helmed Death Note spinoff L already has an official site up with a teaser trailer. Don't get excited, though, it includes absolutely no footage from the film, because it's a teaser announcing that shooting starts in the summer.

- More movie website news: The website for Shinji Aoyama's new film Sad Vacation is up and running, but no trailer on it yet.

- Lastly, there's a 4-minute trailer up for Kenta Fukasaku's latest film X Cross (no, not the action film he announced he would do a few weeks ago). According to the trailer, it's about a woman running away from a cult that cuts young girls' legs off, and it promises a scare every 5 minutes. Except for the cross-dressing killer, it looks pretty intense. Remember it's the very fist link.

2 comments:

Don said...

Just a small correction: when I wrote about Izutsu's "love for film", I meant cinema in general. He didn't actually praise Kitano's movie.

GoldenRockProductions said...

Hey Don,

Yeah, I was wondering what you meant, and what Izutsu had to do with Kitano). Thanks for the correction.