Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Golden Rock - May 29th, 2007 Edition

Before we get into the more controversial stuff, let's follow our usual order:

- This is why you want more than one source for box office news. Variety Asia and the Japanese press have been reporting that Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End actually beat the opening weekend record in Japan set by the second Harry Potter movie. Opening on Thursday night, Pirates made 1.9 billion yen in three-and-a-half days. In fact, according to Eiga Consultant, its Saturday and Sunday gross of 1.47 billion yen is 148% of Dead Man's Chest's opening Saturday-Sunday gross (the previous Pirates movie). Then why does Box Office Mojo writes it as a disappointment?

Last year, the opening gross of Dead Man's Chest is marked as US$16.6 million at the exchange rate of US$1=116.172 yen. However, Mojo wasn't able to take in the fact that Dead Man's Chest actually had weekend previews the previous week. Buena Vista probably calculated it all into the opening weekend gross to rig the numbers, or Mojo didn't know about the screenings and just put whatever it made total as its total two-day gross. This week, At World's End made about US$12 million in 2 days at the exchange rate of US$1=121.839 yen, with a total US$15.9 million. So not only did Mojo not know about the preview screenings for Dead Man's Chest, it also failed to account the changing exchange rate, which shows At World's End made more in yen in its first 3 days than Dead Man's Chest in its first 2 days PLUS 3 days of weekend previews, which accounted for 0.94 billion yen, or at the exchange rate at the time, 8.09 million of Mojo's reported 2-day gross.

OK, it all seems a little complicated, so here's a summary: At World's End made more money, despite Mojo's one-sentence opinion that it disappointed because it forgot changing exchange rate and the lack of weekend previews.

Elsewhere on the rest of the Japanese box office top 10, seems like Kitaro drew more audiences, but For Those We Love made more money because of the adult audience it attracts. Same thing for Pacchigi - Love and Peace, which may be pulling in an older audience (senior tickets are cheaper as well) than Stranger Than Fiction. Spiderman 3 will probably pass Spiderman 2's gross in Japan, but will not likely hit the 10 billion yen mark that Sony was hoping for. Everything else except for Bizan is seeing over-30% drops simply because there's not enough screens to go around in Japan. This week's strongest Japanese film opening is Shaberedomo Shaberedomo, a drama about Japanese comedians that opened with 39.7 million yen on just 98 screens. This looks like one of those movies with staying power anyway.

- In Korea, Jeon Do-Yeon's best actress win at Cannes, the second ever for an Asian actress, for Secret Sunshine seems to be having a significant impact on its box office, with online ticket sales increasing to 31.6% of overall sales. Then again, this type of character-driven films probably depends more on word-of-mouth in the long run anyway.

- Everyone in Japan probably already know by now that Miss Japan is the new Miss Universe. In fact, two of the five finalists are from Asia (with two from South American, and Miss USA rounding out the rest). Asia represent!

Too bad that more people decided to tune into a rerun of a Charlie Sheen sitcom instead. And it's even sadder that the ratings for amateur filmmaking reality show On the Lot continues to show that most people just don't care about filmmaking. It's like going to see a doctor and not care about how the doctor is going to fix you.

- With Spiderman 3 and Harry Potter holding their world premieres in Japan, Hollywood is taking Japan more seriously than ever, at least in promotion.

- r@sardonicsmile writes a rave for Japanese music film Custom Made 10.30, starring Kaela Kimura and Tamio Okuda. As a fan, she also introduces Okuda's music in the post.

- I saw Batman Begins on IMAX, which was quite an experience, even though it was my second time watching the movie. What was that for, you ask? Christopher Nolan is now filming the sequel The Dark Knight, and he's actually filming four sequences with IMAX cameras, instead of just letting them convert it from 35mm.

- EastSouthWestNorth is fuming at the further hypocrisy of the Hong Kong Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority. First the government prosecuted a man for just hyperlinking to some pornographic images on a Hong Kong forum. Except if you look at the board in question, you have people posting supposed pictures of their girlfriends and their wives with no constraint or morals involved. Meanwhile, you have the TELA going after inMediaHK for posting an artistic photograph with nudity that was already widely available on Flickr. The point is, with an entire forum of this crap, with even a warning on it, why did they even prosecute just one person?

By the way, link to forums in the EastSouthWestNorth is NOT work-safe, and not for anyone under 18 years old. There, just covering my own ass before I get arrested and extradited back to Hong Kong too.

- In what might also be considered an outrage to some, a Michael Bay movie is actually going to premiere at a film festival. Who knew?

- Korea Pop Wars has more posters for Kim Ji-Woon's The Good, The Bad, and the Weird, cheesy English tag lines and all.

- Stephen Fung's Enter the Phoenix has been sold to be remade in Hollywood. I shuddered when the producer says "this movie should be remade for a bigger, broader audience." Can you say bad gay jokes all around? Then again, the original has a kid smiling after a thermometer goes up his anus, it can't really get any broader than that.

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