9 items from 2013
Hong Kong – Director Wong Kar Wai's martial arts epic The Grandmaster has been selected to be Hong Kong's representative in the best foreign language film category at the 86th Academy Awards, the Federation of Motion Film Producers announced on Monday. Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Infernal Affairs, Lust, Caution) and Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; My Lucky Star), The Grandmaster was screened in Los Angeles during a special salute to Wong -- whose other credits include Happy Together, In the Mood for Love and My Blueberry Nights -- by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on July 22. Photos: 100 Oscars
- Karen Chu
Australian box office takings improved by a modest 8% to $10.7 million last weekend despite the launch of four films aimed at kids and teenagers..
However business should pick up for all four as the full effect of the school holidays kicks in during the week.
DreamWorks Animation.s Turbo led the field, nabbing $1.5 million and nearly $1.7 million with previews. That.s a fair start for the comedy about the turbo-charged snail that enters the Indy 500, considering that, in the Us, the film posted the lowest debut for a DreamWorks movie since 2006's Flushed Away, and has since raked in about $US82 million.
Another under-performer in the Us, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the sequel to the superhero adventure featuring Logan Lerman as the half-human son of sea god Poseidon, raked in a so-so $1.4 million.
- Don Groves
The biggest draw at China's box office this week is My Lucky Star featuring top Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi, but the spy-themed romantic comedy marks a breakthrough as director Dennie Gordon is the first American woman to direct a Chinese feature. A prequel to the 2009 hit Sophie's Revenge, which featured Zhang in her breakthrough comedy role, My Lucky Star took in $1.71 million when it opened on Tuesday. Story: MPAA Chair Christopher Dodd, Li Bingbing to Be Honored at U.S.-China Film Summit The movie features Zhang as a cartoonist named Sophie who becomes involved with a
- Clifford Coonan
Well-crafted popcorn fare is as tough to pull off as its highbrow counterpart—maybe more so. Being successful involves knowing that light doesn't equal stupid, and discerning between formula and formulaic. Neither director Dennie Gordon nor the four credited screenwriters of My Lucky Star seem able to make those distinctions. Sophie (a luminous Zhang Ziyi) is a struggling graphic novelist plugging away as an office drone. Both her secret fantasy life and the content of her creative output (the latter brought to life in animated sequences) center on damsel-in-distress narratives in which a dashing hero sweeps in to save the heroine and shower her with true love. Egged on by her three best friends—it makes no sense beyond trite cinematic sch »
Touted as the first mainland Chinese film from an American female director, Dennie Gordon, and toplined by Zhang Ziyi as an accidental agent chasing after a rare diamond, “My Lucky Star” is wholesome, effortless entertainment that runs smoothly enough but seldom takes one’s breath away in the romance department. Slickly lining up a series of jet-setting hijinks, the film ladles out zany, self-mocking fun, but a hectic itinerary doesn’t give Zhang and co-star Wang Leehom much room to breathe, let alone fall passionately in love. Still, the pic’s perky spirit should generate healthy local biz; it bows Sept. 20 in the U.S.
Initially developed as a prequel to Eva Jin’s “Sophie’s Revenge” (2009), which Zhang produced and starred in, “My Lucky Star” retains little of that film’s spirit or backstory, aside from the heroine’s namesake and her two chatterbox friends Lily (Yao Chen) and »
- Maggie Lee
Hong Kong — China’s Bona Film Group is to launch a $162 million (RMB1 billion) fund to boost its production efforts.
The Wuhu Bona Film Investment Management is understood to be the first of its kind in China and will see Sequoia Capital Investment and Gopher Asset Management, part of the U.S.’s Noah Holdings, committed as core investors. Bona itself will hold 30% of the equity of the fund.
Bona chairman and CEO Yu Dong said that the fund had been opened to investors in mid-August and was already significantly over-subscribed.
The launch of this fund “will greatly enhance our production capacity, enabling us to bring not only more, but higher quality film and television projects to audiences in China and abroad. It will significantly reduce the challenges and risks associated with individual project financing, allowing us to more effectively plan the timing of future releases and shorten the pre-production process, »
- Patrick Frater
The film, directed by American helmer Dennie Gordon, stars Zhang and Chinese singer Wang Leehom in a project with a similar story line to “Sophie’s Revenge.” Producers are Ming ‘Beaver’ Kwei, Second Chan, William Cheng, Ling Lucas and Zhang.
The film is set for a limited release in the U.S. and Canada in metro areas, including Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and the Washington, D.C., area.
Zhang stars as a women caught up in an international diamond heist that draws her towards a spy (played by Wang) trying to save the world. Producers said last year that Gordon was the first American woman to direct a feature film for the domestic market in China. »
- Dave McNary
Apparently a sequel of sorts to Zhang Ziyi’s 2009 film “Sophie’s Revenge”, veteran American TV director Dennie Gordon’s 2013 movie “My Lucky Star” picks up with the character as she gets involved with a suave spy and all manner of International intrigue. The guy is played by Wang Leehom, an up and coming actor who just landed the plum lead in Stan Lee’s Chinese-us superhero co-production “The Annihilator”, and can next be seen in Michael Mann’s “Cyber” with Chris Hemsworth. “My Lucky Star” has been picked up by China Lion, who will release the film on September 20th in North America on a day-and-date with Mainland China, which, I take it to mean it will arrive on U.S. screens at the same time it opens in China. Which is a rarity, and I don’t recall that happening very often with Chinese films Stateside. At the moment, »
Keshet Int’l Invades Canada With Mark Rubenstein Keshet International is moving into Canada via a joint venture with veteran TV executive Mark Rubinstein. Keshet Canada will bring Keshet’s scripted and unscripted formats to the Canadian market and will look to develop, produce and co-produce original content. Rubinstein is a former president and CEO of Insight Sports and COO of Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting. The venture will have the rights to over 50 Keshet International properties, to be produced in the territory under the Keshet Canada banner. Keshet, the company behind Prisoners Of War, the Israeli source of Homeland, has recently set up shop in Australia and the UK. Bona Film Group Gets $34.2M Credit Line China’s Bona Film Group, which part-owned by News Corp., has secured a $34.2M revolving credit line with China Minsheng Banking Corp. The facility will be for three years and will be used to help grow exhibition, »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
9 items from 2013
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