Interpret Weekly: Asia Entertainment 10/04/2021

Bona Film Group China Film Co. Shanghai Animation Film Studio

War epic The Battle at Lake Changjin had an explosive opening during the country’s long National Day holiday weekend, earning $235 million from Thursday to Sunday (from Friday to Sunday, it totaled $203.2 million). The film is a rare co-directorial effort, uniting A-list Chinese filmmakers Chen Kaige, Hark Tsui, and Dante Lam at the helm. It also stars China’s most bankable leading man, Wu Jing of Wolf Warrior 2 fame, along with twenty-year-old rising star Jackson Yee.

Bringing additional energy to the Chinese multiplex, the patriotic ensemble film My Country, My Parents opened in second place with a healthy $90.6 million during the same stretch.

No Time to Die scored $3.3 million over the weekend, grabbing a 63%, or nearly two thirds, share of the entire market. That percentage was essentially the same as the market share figure it enjoyed on its Wednesday opening day. After five days the film now has a cumulative total of $4.55 million.

After 12 weeks in theaters, the live-action adaptation of popular anime and manga Tokyo Avengers has reached nearly $40 million, making it the highest-grossing live-action film of the year in Japan.

The tournament will be disallowed in China because the game is not licensed and approved to operate in the market. Tencent’s live-streaming platform Penguin Esports has removed PUBG broadcasts. DouYu and Huya both changed the title of PUBG to “Chicken Game,” and “Daily Chicken Dinner,” respectively.

NCSOFT announced Thursday that its upcoming role-playing game, Lineage W, will debut around the world on Nov. 4. The company said that the new game can be played on gaming consoles, PCs, and mobile devices, so will have a different pay-to-win business model.

The Lineage role-playing game franchise has been hugely popular for more than two decades. However, NCSOFT has recently faced criticism from users who claim that they must spend too much money to purchase items to stay ahead of other users in the game. Such negative sentiment towards the company peaked when NCOSFT’s new game, Blade & Soul 2, was released in August.

The Tokyo Game has just concluded over the weekend of September 30 – October 3, 2021. The in-person event floor was estimated to be at 1/12 of the usual scale with pandemic-era restrictions still in place and many companies opting for VR or online-only experiences. Along with this massive show came plenty of new game announcements and other news from Xbox, Square Enix, SEGA, and more. Even Ikea was there this year.

Microsoft’s successful Cloud Gaming service – “xCloud” – is now available in Japan as well as Australia, Brazil, and Mexico. Xbox reiterated its commitment to bringing more Japanese titles to its Xbox ecosystem.

Sony has acquired Bluepoint Games, the studio known for the Demon’s Souls and Shadow of the Colossus remakes. Given the success of these titles for Sony, this move does not come entirely as a surprise, but it remains to be seen whether Sony will have Bluepoint continue to focus on remakes, or whether they will be tasked with developing new games.

Netflix executives are raving over the global success of its original Korean series Squid Game that is the most watched content in 76 countries and is set to become the streamer’s most successful non-English-language content. The streamer’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos said Monday (local time) at the 2021 Code Conference that Squid Game could become its most popular show ever. According to Sarandos, the Korean survival drama has already garnered a far larger audience than the French mystery series Lupin.

Korea Telecom has unveiled plans to inject $150 million into its media unit allowing it to expand its content production capacity. The move comes at a time when already high competition for Korean content is set to intensify further.

KT said that it will buy new shares in KT studio Genie, the unit formed earlier this year to house all its media activities. These include the Seezn streaming service and Storywiz, an online web novel platform that competes with Naver’s Wattpad. The giant said that it aims to expand its production capacity to 20 shows per year by 2025 and to have amassed a library of 1,000 intellectual properties.