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Asian box office goes big

'Twilight,' 'Earth Stood Still' top charts

HONG KONG – Asia’s box office charts were wide open last weekend. “Twilight” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” took top honors at the turnstiles, but there were also impressive performances by Korea’s “Overspeed Scandal,” “Australia,” “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” in India and, in Japan, “Wall-E.”

Local comedy “Overspeed Scandal” again outpaced the competition at the Korean box office. Pic earned $2.65 million from 489 screens for Lotte Entertainment, a 12% acceleration, and took its cume to $7.27 million.

That put it some distance ahead of openers “Twilight” in second place with $1.99 million on 448 screens for Next Entertainment, and Fox Int’l’s “Australia” on $1.47 million from 552 screens in third spot.

Across the region “Australia” notched $3.50 million from a 1,093 location release in three countries according to Rentrak data, which includes Oz as Asia-Pacific. “Twilight” had a release in seven Asian territories and played on a slightly smaller screen count of 986, but topped the Asia chart with $6.72 million, despite not being number one in any individual territory.

In contrast, “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” topped the charts in six smaller territories (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia), playing out on 564 screens and grossing $4.52 million according to Rentrak.

Its performance was strongest in Hong Kong, where it accounted for 77% of the total box office, Indonesia where it took 71% and Taiwan where it gobbled up 66%.

Yash Raj Films, producer of Shah Rukh Khan-vehicle “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” said Monday that the pic had grossed Rupees600 million ($12.6 million) worldwide, though it did not break out figures for India and instead stressed company records in the North America ($1.25 million) and the Middle East.

Chinese box office may also have delivered a decent start for local-language action movie “Ip Man.” Local sources report that the Wilson Yip-helmed Bruce Lee homage earned RMB30 million ($4.38 million) between Friday and Sunday Dec12-14.

Japan’s belated released of “Wall-E” was enough to put the Pixar movie into third spot on Rentrak’s Asian chart. In its second weekend, pic added $4.49 million for a local cume of $12.7 million.

The Japanese chart also delivered decent performances by a succession of local films. Second place was again held by “252 Signal of Life,” scoring $1.86 million and a two week cume of $6.29 million, while Toho’s two openers “Bleach: Fade to Black” took $1.68 million from 239 screens and “Winning Shot” scored $1.65 million from 311 playdates.

In its seventh frame in Japan, “Red Cliff” added $1.49 million, a drop of only 10%, nudging its Japanese cume to $48.3 million, while Toho’s “I Want to be a Shellfish” added $1.15 million for a four week cume of $17.5 million.

Tsui Hark’s “All About Women” (aka “Not all Women are bad”) released in China and Hong Kong, but failed to score strongly in either. Rentrak put it fifth in Hong Kong with an opening shot of $60,000 on 19 screens, while Chinese sources put it on RMB10 million ($1.46 million) for Thursday to Sunday.

Han Sunhee also contributed to this report.

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