Interpret Weekly: Asia Entertainment 03/15/2022

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The nationwide box office between Friday and Sunday amounted to just $19.2 million. It was the fifth weekend of decline since the splashy opening of eight major titles on Feb. 1 for the Lunar New Year holidays. The Battle at Lake Changjin II, which dominated proceedings at the New Year, remained at the top of the chart for the sixth consecutive weekend. It earned a lowly $4.6 million over three days for a cumulative total of $635 million.

The map displayed in the scene includes the so-called “nine-dash line,” which is used on official Chinese maps to illustrate the country’s vast claims over the strategically important South China Sea, including areas rich in natural resources that Vietnam regards as its own territory. Vietnam has blocked Hollywood content from its screens over the same issue before. In 2019, DreamWorks’ Abominable was blocked from cinemas because of the nine-dash line, and last year Netflix was asked to drop several episodes of the series Pine Gap because of the same violation.

BTS Permission to Dance on Stage – Seoul: Live Viewing grossed $6.84 million in North America on Saturday for a per screen average of $8,500+ across 803 theaters, ranking third at the weekend box office so far after The Batman and Uncharted. Globally, it broke the event cinema record with a worldwide box office gross of $32.6 million. The film was presented by Hybe and Trafalgar Releasing in 3,711 cinemas in 75 countries/regions for a one-day limited engagement with reported sell-outs across the world.

China’s cyberspace watchdog has unveiled new draft rules that will make it harder for big tech firms like Tencent Holdings and ByteDance to profit from video gaming, live-streaming, and social media services targeted at the country’s 180 million internet users under the age of 18. According to the draft, all online service providers must set up a “youth mode” for their services, stating clear limits in terms of user time, content, and functions. Specifically, internet service providers are required to impose limits on the time minors can spend online, as well as put ceilings on all one-off purchases and accumulative daily spending.

During the presidential campaign, Yoon stressed that video games are not diseases, pledging that he would ease regulations to keep abreast with global trends. Accordingly, the video game industry has high expectations for the new administration. However, the President-elect is taking a prudent approach to the approval of play-to-earn (P2E) games, the biggest issue facing the game industry, over concerns about the side effects, among others, money laundering.

His pledge to upgrade the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system is another factor that increases the sense of uneasiness. China suspended the issuance of new licenses for Korean games in 2016 when the dispute over South Korea’s THAAD deployment flared up.

Fan-favorite creative director Ikumi Nakamura has officially launched her new studio, Unseen. The studio is set to focus on “spooky” types of games, perhaps not so different from upcoming GhostWire. Nakamura first vaulted to stardom among game fans at E3 2019 with an energetic and sincere presentation style.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel has already surpassed 20 million downloads according to publisher-developer Konami after launching on January 27, 2022. The digital version of the worldwide trading card game is the most true-to-life version of the physical card game in video game form to date and looks to be off to a strong start.

The show’s lead Lee Jung-jae won Best Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Gi-hun. Along with Lee, the show also won the Best Foreign-Language Series prize at the award ceremony.

Kyoto Animation (also known as “KyoAni” by fans) is officially keeping its physical gift and merch shop closed to make room for additional workplace. While the closure is sad news for longtime fans on the one hand, it is an encouraging sign of the company’s growth and expansion following the deadly arson attack that initially led to the shop’s then-temporary closure back in 2019 after its original opening in 2017.