Interpret Weekly: Asia Entertainment 02/28/2022

Bona Film GroupNew Classics Pictures /
Fun Age Pictures
Dirty Monkeys Studio

Lunar New Year holdovers dominated the past weekend. The Battle at Lake Changjin II earned $11 million on its fourth weekend of release. That lifted its cumulative to $611 million since release on Feb. 1, 2022. Chinese comedy Too Cool to Kill held on to second place with $9.5 million, good for a cumulative of $393 million. Drama Nice View earned $6.3 million, for a cumulative of $204 million.

Kanaa, an Indian-produced film from 2018, will get a theatrical release in mainland China on March 18, 2022. It is only the second Tamil-language film to be released in China in recent years, after 2.0 in 2019. It is also the second Indian film to open in China this year after the January outing of Chhichhore. At the time of the Chhichhore release, Chinese state media specified that the restart of Indian film releases after a two-year hiatus was linked to improving bilateral political relations between the two nations.

Uncharted held on to the top spot at the South Korean box office for the second successive weekend, a weekend that was the quietest this year for Korean cinemas. The Tom Holland-starring filmgrossed $1.05 million between Friday and Sunday. Uncharted now has a $4.77 million cumulative total after two weekends.

Recently-published financial reports show that Korean cinema chains continued to lose vast amounts of money over the last year. And, while Uncharted and The Batman were recently cited by cinema operator CJ-CGV as offering hope for a 2022 revival, that has not happened yet. With just $2.79 million earned by all films across the entire country, the Feb. 25-27 weekend total was weaker than at any point this year.

Jerry Bruckheimer, producer behind such blockbuster franchises as Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure, is onboard to help Paramount produce a live-action Beyblade movie. Beyblade is a toy line of spinning battle tops (similar to traditional Japanese beigoma) by Japanese toy company Takara that debuted in 1999. The toy line has gone on to inspire anime, manga, and video games in addition to selling millions of toys.

The deal, which was reached last November, will see Tencent take all shares previously owned by the company’s former parent firm, 1C. 1C Entertainment has launched over 100 games to date, and is best known as the publisher of aircraft simulator IL-2 Sturmovik, as well as the Men of War franchise. Earlier this week, Tencent announced it had acquired a majority stake in Inflexion Games from Improbable.

Smilegate’s free-to-play MMORPG title Lost Ark has topped various international game charts by keeping 1 million concurrent users worldwide for over 10 days, a rare feat among Korean game labels these days preoccupied more with the play-to-earn business model than game originality for a breakthrough in stagnant sales. According to SteamDB, Lost Ark has been on the top in terms of concurrent users since its official release on Feb. 11 in 160 countries in North America, Europe, and Oceania. Concurrent users peaked at 1.32 million on Feb. 12 and are sustained at 1.07 million as of Tuesday.

Not much is known about the upcoming Street Fighter 6, but it is officially in the works and it features a bearded Ryu. Street Fighter 6 will be the latest installment in the classic Street Fighter series of fighting video games following the previous installment, Street Fighter V, in 2016.

Nintendo has announced that it will wholly own Tokyo-based SRD, effective April 1, 2022. SRD has worked closely with Nintendo for almost 40 years including on titles such as the NES version of Donkey Kong as well as last year’s Game Builder Garage. Acquisitions have been rare for Nintendo, though they also acquired Luigi’s Mansion 3’s developer, Next Level Games, last year.