January 24, 2007

"The Door" - China's First Horror Movie

'The Door' (Men) is China's first domestically produced horror movie. This is a major milestone in China's movie industry considering that foreign horror movies are generally banned by the China censorship board.

[Shanghai, China, January 23, 2007]

The only female director in China’s post-Cultural 'Fifth Generation', Shaohong Li has released her psychological thriller 'The Door' in mainland. The horror story set in the contemporary China centers on a young intellectual’s ominous journey to find his lost girlfriend and the truth behind the breakup. The film was released in theatre nationwide, as well as Shanghai Media Group’s digital TV channel SiTV, IP TV channel BesTV, broadband online TV channel SMGBB, and mobile phone TV platform DNM.

This is the first film in China’s filming history to be simultaneously released in traditional big screens and new media platforms. Besides going to theatres, Chinese audiences now have another four new media channels to choose from, and thus do not have to wait six months to watch the film through TV or rentals. To film producers and distributors, this is a new distribution channel expanded to explore more profitability of a film.

Shanghai Media Group currently has 6 million digital TV service subscribers through SiTV, about 200,000 IP TV users, and a large broadband TV and mobile phone TV service subscriber base. The company has implemented encryption technology to eliminate piracy through airing on these four channels.

Source: Entertainment Asia Network

Nominations for the 2007 Oscars

Here are the nominees for the 2007 Oscars. The 79th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres on Feb. 25.

Best Picture
"The Departed"
"Letters from Iwo Jima"
"Little Miss Sunshine"
"The Queen"

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio - "Blood Diamond"
Ryan Gosling - "Half Nelson"
Peter O'Toole - "Venus"
Will Smith - "The Pursuit of Happyness"
Forest Whitaker - "The Last King of Scotland"

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin - "Little Miss Sunshine"
Jackie Earle Haley - "Little Children"
Djimon Hounsou - "Blood Diamond"
Eddie Murphy - "Dreamgirls"
Mark Wahlberg - "The Departed"

Best Actress
Penélope Cruz - "Volver"
Judi Dench - "Notes on a Scandal"
Helen Mirren - "The Queen"
Meryl Streep - "The Devil Wears Prada"
Kate Winslet - "Little Children"

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza - "Babel"
Cate Blanchett - "Notes on a Scandal"
Abigail Breslin - "Little Miss Sunshine"
Jennifer Hudson - "Dreamgirls"
Rinko Kikuchi - "Babel"

Best Director
Clint Eastwood - "Letters From Iwo Jima"
Paul Greengrass - "United 93"
Martin Scorsese - "The Departed"
Stephen Frears - "The Queen"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - "Babel"

Best Original Screenplay
"Letters from Iwo Jima"
"Little Miss Sunshine"
"Pan's Labyrinth"
"The Queen"

Best Adapted Screenplay
"Children of Men"
"The Departed"
"Little Children"
"Notes on a Scandal"

Best Animated Feature Film Of The Year
"Cars" John Lasseter
"Happy Feet" George Miller
"Monster House" Gil Kenan

Best Foreign Language Film Of The Year
"After the Wedding - Denmark
"Days of Glory " - Algeria
"The Lives of Others" - Germany
"Pan's Labyrinth" - Mexico
"Water" - Canada

Best Original Song
I Need to Wake Up - "An Inconvenient Truth"
Listen - "Dreamgirls"
Love You I Do - "Dreamgirls"
Our Town - "Cars"
Patience - "Dreamgirls"

January 19, 2007

Imported US Titles into China for 2007

[Beijing, China, January 11, 2007]

'Miami Vice' and 'World Trade Center' are finishing up their run in China’s theaters drawing a close to imported US titles in China's film market for 2006. From 'King Kong' to 'Miami Vice', 20 imported foreign films generated more than $102.4 million at the Chinese box office. Recently, a list of films recommended by 7 major Hollywood film studios to be considered for new imports to China market was turned in to the China Film Group, China’s leading film distribution company based in Beijing.

Many highly anticipated hit films were included such as 'Spider-Man 3', 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix', 'Transformers', and 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End'. The majority of imported films to be released in Chinese theaters in 2007 will come from this list, upon review by the State Administration of Radio Film and Television, China’s main film bureau and censoring engine.

In 2006, 'The Da Vinci Code' with its concurrent global opening topped the mainland box office among all imported foreign films with $19.19 million before it was yanked by the government before it finished its run in China. 'Mission: Impossible III' was originally intended to be released simultaneously around the world as well, but was released in Chinese theaters two months and a half later than in the US. The movie was still able to climb among the top 3 titles in China for 2006 taking in about $10.4 million total.

Many industry analysts believe that concurrent global openings of imported films could be a promising endorsement to positive box office results in China. In 2007, the most probable imported film that would simultaneously open worldwide would be 'Spider-Man 3'. The previous two titles of the 'Spider-Man' series accumulated more than $12.8 million at the mainland box office.

Since the first imported action film in China was 'Fugitive' in 1994, action films have traditionally been the most selected among all imported foreign films in China for the past few decades. In 2006, 8 out of 20 imported titles were action films, where 3 made it to the top 10 box office for 2006. This trend is predicted to carry over into 2007 as well, as it is clearly shown among all the recommendations submitted to China Film Group for importing are in the action category.

On the list are 6 animated films to be considered for 2007 release including 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', 'Meet the Robinsons', 'Ratatouille', 'Shrek 3', 'Surf's Up', and 'The Simpsons Movie'. In 2006, there were 5 animation titles recommended and all were imported and released. Because of terrific box office results of many Hollywood animated films in 2006 like 'Ice Age 2: the Meltdown' and 'Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties', industry analysts believe it is highly possible that all of the 6 new recommendations will be presented to Chinese audiences this summer.

In the first quarter of 2007, there will be 9 imported foreign films dropping in Chinese theatres: 'Arthur and the Invisibles', 'The Guardian', and 'Casino Royale' in January; 'The Restless', '16 Blocks', and 'Night at the Museum' in Feburary; 'Deja vu”, 'The Devil Wears Prada', and 'Click' in March. 'Casino Royale' would be the very first of the many “007” series titles to make it to the big screens in China since it was first introduced 45 years ago. With scheduled opening on January 30th, it is anticipated to exceed 'King Kong' box office total of $12.8 million.

Source: Entertainment Asia Network

January 12, 2007

Chow Yun Fat in Pirates 3

As fans would already know, Chow Yun Fat will star in the upcoming sequel of Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End. He will play Captain Sao Feng. Here's a first look at the promo poster.