Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Happy Friday

Not much Cannes news, at least regarding Asian films. Expect some this weekend after the premiere of "Dai Nipponjin," and what happened to Kantoku Banzai anyway?

The only news that can be counted as under Cannes is the Hollywood Reporter review I mentioned yesterday of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's "The Flight of the Red Balloon." Here it is in all of its negative glory.

- The Thursday opening day numbers in Hong Kong pretty much indicates that Spiderman 3 will ruled for a third week. Now on 58 screens, Spidey makes HK$580,000 for a 17-day total of HK$46.08 million. Expecting at least a HK$15,000 per-screen average for each day of the weekend, it should cross the HK$50 million mark by the end of the weekend. If it doesn't, I'll bow secretly in shame.

What about those 6 films that opened? The most successful one is Korean blockbuster 200-Pound Beauty, making HK$190,000 on 21 screens. The Leon Lai/Rene Liu thriller The Matrimony crashes and burn with only HK$20,000 on 15 screens (Chinese audiences kind of accept HK films, but looks like it doesn't work the other way around), and Kiyoshi Kuroawa's Sakebi makes only HK$20,000 on 5 screens (he doesn't really have much of a reputation in HK)
. What about Herman Yau's two films? Gong Tau opened on Tuesday after a couple of preview showings, and it made HK$180,000 on 26 screens for a (technically) 8-day total of HK$680,000. Whispers and Moans fares a little better, opening with HK$50,000 on 6 screens and expected to pull in better numbers over the weekend.

- Twitch has their own review of Triangle, which, despite the lack of enthusiasm from Cannes, is sounding extremely interesting to me. The review even has a link to some footage, which from the review looks to be from the Ringo Lam section (even though the visual look is somewhat Johnnie To, considering that the cinematographer is a longtime Johnnie To collaborator).

- This week, a teenage boy in Japan killed his mother, took her head off, and took it to the police station to confess. Now the kid is taking the easy way out and say that he was influenced by horror movies. Aren't they always?

- I'm sure there are very big fans of Frank Miller and his work out there. However, I am not. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the visuals of Sin City or 300, bit it doesn't feel like there's much to them beyond primal animalistic thrill. After seeing for himself that his work does translate to successful big movies, he decided to try and direct one of them himself. That's right, Frank Miller is making his feature directorial debut with "The Spirit," and Samuel L. Jackson is already in talks to play the villain.

- In other new directing deals, Universal's Focus Features just signed a deal that will finance five films under a new production company formed by The Three Amigos (Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del Toro and Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu.), and in addition to the three directors' latest, it will also include two films by two of their proteges. Can't wait to these what those three geniuses have in store for us next.

- Variety Asia introduces five figures to watch out for in Japanese cinema. Except for Makoto Shinkai, simply because I've never seen his films.

That's it for today. More news this weekend.

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