HERo at 12th PIFF, faces no challengers at Japanese B.O.September 10, 2007 Written by Mark Schilling varietyasiaonline.com
\"Hero\" faces no challengers at Japanese B.O.
TOKYO -- \"Hero,\" a courtroom-drama-cum-romance based on a hit Fuji TV series about a rebel prosecutor, finished its first weekend at the number one spot, earning Y1.08 billion ($9.5 million dollars) on 750,000 admissions.
Released on 475 screens by distrib Toho -- a record for a Japanese pic -- \"Hero\" scored a sky-high screen average of $19,790. Toho now predicts the pic will finish north of $88 million and may even surpass the current number one for the year: \"Pirates of the Caribbean: World\'s End.\"
Fuji TV producer Chihiro Kameyama, the mastermind behind both \"Hero\" and the smash hit \"Bayside Shakedown\" pics about cops in the trendy Tokyo Bay area, is even more upbeat, saying that \"Hero\" may beat \"Bayside Shakedown 2,\" which set a record for a live-action local pic in 2003 with $152.6 million. \"I am in the fortunate position of being able to break my own record,\" Kameyama said in a statement. \"If any title, \"Hero\" has a great chance to be the one to achieve that status, so I\'m really excited.\"
\"Hero\" began as a Fuji TV series, starring local megastar Takuya Kimura as a rule-breaking delinquent-turned-prosecutor, that racked up stupendous 30-plus ratings for every episode when it was broadcast from January to March 2001. Instead of signing Kimura and company to another season, however, Fuji dropped the show for five years, finally reviving it for a two-hour special that aired in July of 2006 -- and also scored over 30. By this time, a \"Hero\" feature was in the works.
In addition to Kimura and most of the original TV series cast, the pic stars Korean heartthrob Lee-Byung Hun and was shot partly in Busan. Not surprisingly, the pic will screen at the upcoming Pusan film festival and is skedded to be released on 250 screens in Korea -- a record for a Japanese pic in the territory. Other theatrical releases throughout Asia are also planned.
Written by Mark Schilling varietyasiaonline.com
eHerof to open big in South Korea
Film set to unspool Nov. 1
By DARCY PAQUET
Takuya Kimura star vehicle gHeroh is stirring major interest in South Korea, where distributor Lotte Entertainment hopes to give it the biggest local release ever for a Japanese film.
Pic receives its international premiere tonight on PIFFfs massive outdoor screen in the Open Cinema section, where Kimura (h2046) is scheduled to be in attendance.
Local release has been set for Nov. 1, and Lotte is aiming for 250 to 300 screens. Biggest releases to date of Japanese films in Korea include gThe Sinking of Japanh on 256 screens and gHowlfs Moving Castleh on 237.
Kimura has won over numerous fans in South Korea as a member of pop group SMAP and especially for his roles in Japanese TV dramas, which have a steady following in Korea.
gHeroh is a bigscreen version of one of the starfs biggest TV hits, and features a segment shot in Busan with Korean star Lee Byung-heon.
Actor Kimura Takuya Reigns in Busan
By Lee Hyo-won
Japanfs reigning heartthrob Kimura Takuya
at the press conference to promote his film gHeroh
at the 12th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival. / Yonhap
BUSAN _ Japanfs ultimate heartthrob Kimura Takuya set Busan on fire when he revisited the port city in time for the international premiere of his latest movie gHeroh at the 12th Pusan (Busan) International Film Festival (PIFF).
More than 100 reporters and photographers crowded the explosive press conference room in Paradise Hotel, with some 70 female Japanese fans filling the hall outside to get a glimpse of their hero.
The 34-year-old star is a member of Japanfs biggest all-time idol group SMAP and has starred in TV series that garnered unprecedented popularity, such as gPrideh, gGood Luckhe and gEngine.h He has also voiced a character in Hayao Miyazakifs epic animation film gHowlfs Moving Castle.h
Takuya returns to his role as a high school dropout-turned-hotshot prosecutor in gHero,h and said he was happy to return to the role because his character is so intriguing.
Six years before he played the same part for a TV series. In Japan, TV dramas are divided by seasons and produced in 11 segments. Sometimes popular ones are made into two-hour specials, and if that proves successful, larger-scale productions are made. Fuji TVfs gHeroh makes its big-screen debut with Japanfs hottest star _ who is voted gman I want to make love withh for the 14th year now _ and Koreafs Lee Byung-hun making a cameo appearance.
Hero director, Suzuki Masayuki & Takuya Kimura at 10/5 press conference
gHeroh was shot in Busan, and director Suzuki Masayuki explained itfs because gKorea is a cinema kingdomh after introducing him in fluent Korean. gI wanted to shoot my movie somewhere open, and Busan was the perfect place,h he said.
Kimura said he was happy to be back in Korea and honored that gHeroh makes its international debut here. Compared to his experience at the Cannes Festival, he said that he is enjoying Pusan in terms of the food and people. gKoreans look very much like the Japanese, so I feel very much at home.h
Takuya said that he is staying at the same hotel while filming gHero.h gI feel much more at ease this time because Ifm not shooting a film, and I can actually appreciate things like the nice bath tub and beautiful ocean view out the window,h he said.Hallyu superstar Lee Byung-hun makes a special appearance in gHero.h gHis appearance is short, but he plays a very strong, heavyweight role. Lee is explosively popular in Japan, and is known to have a epretty smile.f He was really the only one I had in mind for casting,h said the director.
gI would love to make a film with him for a longer period of time in the future,h he said.