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April 20, 2005

Box Office Shakedown

USA -- this week sees Asian movies rockin' and rollin' in the US and defying conventional wisdom. Most movies open big (the bigger the better) and then drop off. But OLDBOY and KUNG FU HUSTLE have wisely decided to open small and let word of mouth carry them and increase their box office as they add screens. OLDBOY added 14 screens to gross $85,350 with its regular per screen average of $3,161 (which hasn't changed much in the last 3 weeks). Its US total now stands at about $300,000.

KUNG FU HUSTLE made about $247,613 and stayed at 7 screens for a whopping per screen average of $35,000 and a total US gross of around $620,000.

Korean freakshow Save the Green Planet opens today. The Village Voice calls it "poignant" and "poetic" as well as "one of the best movies of the year...". The New York Times calls it "bile-raising" and "sick".

Also, Takashi Miike's One Missed Call opens in NYC today.

HONG KONG -- a slow weekend in the Special Administrative Region. Vin Diesel's THE PACIFIER took the top slot with almost HK$740,000, knocking Hayao Miyazaki's HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE out of the number one slot and down to number three with only HK$260,000 for the weekend. The Japanese film BE WITH YOU was in number two with HK$350,000. The Asian anthology film ABOUT LOVE which is, duh, about love, made HK$100,000 and came in fifth.
Just a quick note: the Hong Kong box office considers the HK$10 million mark as a sign of success for a domestic film. HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, Miyazaki's beautiful Japanese anime, has grossed HK$21 million and is still at number three after 25 days, despite the fact that the anti-Japanese riots in China have, sadly, now spread to Hong Kong. I predict HOWL'S will break HK$30 million and the only HK movie that'll do better than it all year will be Stephen Chow's KUNG FU HUSTLE.
(thanks to Hong Kong Entertainment News in Review)

KOREA -- CRYING FIST continues to hold the top spot in its second week, with $1.8 million last week, for a total of $6.5 million. A BITTERSWEET LIFE (on its way to Cannes) made $1.3 million in its second week for a total of $5.5 million. The surprise hit, old lady vs. gangster comedy, MAPADO made $1 million (in its 5th week) to hold the number three spot with $15 million.

JAPAN -- CONAN: THE MOVIE VOL. 9, an anime series, debuted in the number one slot with $2.6 million. NATIONAL TREASURE is at number two, THE AVIATOR is at number three, and live action Japanese submarine flick, LORELEI, is at number four with $19 million in its sixth week.

Japan has released a ton of amazing movies in 2004 and 2005 and it continues to boggle my mind that none of them ever show up on the Japanese box office charts. However, a lot of distributors have realized that their hopes lie in home video and overseas sales, and on the plus side a lot of Japanese distributors have become a lot more easy to work with in the past couple of years.

April 20, 2005 at 02:04 PM in News | Permalink


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