NEWS UPDATE
AROUND THE WORLD WITH JACKIE CHAN


SEPTEMBER 1998
Work Still In Progress
MISCELLANEOUS SEPTEMBER 1998 NEWS


GOLDEN HARVEST STUDIOS CLOSES the DOORS in HONG KONG after 30 years

On September 30, 1998 Golden Harvest Studios closed the doors of its DIAMOND HILL premises in Hong Kong, after almost 30 years of making Hong Kong movie history. The contract/lease on the property at Diamond Hill in Hong Kong, where the film studios were located, ran out recently. Now the government wants to use the land for real estate development and so made it very difficult for Golden Harvest to renew their contract. Currently the government is leasing the land to them on a month by month basis (according to the press) which is, by all reports, considered too insecure for the needs of Golden Harvest. Then Golden Harvest also tendered for other government land in the Hong Kong region where they could resituate the studios. However, so too did 6 other Hong Kong production companies, including "Shaw's". Sadly, in August 1998, when the bids were finalised and a decision made, Golden Harvest lost the bid on the land to Shaw's Studios, (who plan to build a huge movie studio complex there). Therefore, the decision was made to pack up Golden Harvest in Hong Kong and to relocate elsewhere, as there is currently no other suitable land in the region for them to relocate their studios onto, and the government has apparently not yet suggested any alternative land to them. Planning is still under way as to where Golden Harvest Studios will ultimately relocate... Rumours include Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan...

After filming on "The Bottle" (aka GORGEOUS) has completed at GOLDEN HARVEST STUDIOS the old Film Studios will be demolished... So sadly.., by the end of 1998.., the historical Golden Harvest Studios complex in Hong Kong will be gone.

Jackie, Raymond Chow and six other directors of Golden Harvest Distribution (The Public G/H Company) resigned their positions on the Board of Directors commencing September 30, 1998. Jackie however, still retains some shares in the public company for now. Jackie also still has strong controlling interests in "Golden Harvest Productions" (The Private G/H Company) and, according to all reports, he has no plans or intentions to relinquish that control at this stage...
Work Still In Progress
SEPTEMBER 1998
On September 1, 1998 Jackie commenced a book signing tour in Canada and the U.S.A. for the release of his new autobiography, "I AM JACKIE CHAN: My Life In Action," (A Ballantine Book - Published by "Random House" in the USA and "Allen and Unwin" in Australia), as well as to promote the release of his new Hollywood Film, RUSH HOUR , co-starring Chris Tucker (The Fifth Element).

The book signing was enormously successful, attracting so many people that the official time allotted was rarely enough to get through the crowds wanting their books autographed. Therefore, Jackie handed out pre-signed books to those who missed out on having him sign his book for them personally during the allotted time at the various sessions.

Twelve U.S.A. J.C. Fan Club members were able to meet up in private book signing and photo sessions with Jackie Chan at each book store signing in the U.S.A. Some Canadian Jackie Chan Fans were able to do the same with Jackie at his very first book signing held in Toronto in Canada.

RUSH HOUR premiered on September 9, 1998 and went on to screen at various "advance screening" sessions across the U.S.A. Rush Hour was received with mixed reviews from the critics and great enthusiasm by the fans of both Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, right across America. People across the country were raving about RUSH HOUR, (especially Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker Fans), saying it was fun and exciting and predicting it would do very well when released later that month. Other reviewers, mainly from film critics, were extremely conservative in their opinions, some even very critical. For those people, at the end of the day, only time would tell.

RUSH HOUR was released at cinemas across the USA and in CANADA on September 18, 1998. Defying its worst critics, and living up to the high expectations of its producers and all the fans, RUSH HOUR was a HUGE SUCCESS at the combined CANADIAN & U.S.A. BOX OFFICE. During its DEBUT WEEKEND of September 18 to 20, RUSH HOUR scooped in a staggering US$33 MILLION DOLLARS and in doing so, smashed the all time Box Office records for the August to October U.S.A. Box Office period for a debuting movie. The record holder to that date for a debut weekend in the August to October period was "The First Wives Club" which debuted at US$18.9 Million Dollars. Rush Hour has also gone on to be NEW LINE CINEMA's biggest all time hit for a debuting movie. Beating "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - The Movie" which debuted at US$25.4 Million Dollars when released by New Line Cinema at the U.S.A. Box Office. Rush Hour has since then gone on to scoop in more than US$129 MILLION DOLLARS at the combined USA/Canadian Box Office, up to about November 2, 1998. It is being predicted that RUSH HOUR could go on to earn more than US$135 Million Dollars at the combined Canadian and U.S.A. Box Office before it finishes its run there...

In World Wide Box Office Figures... So far RUSH HOUR has been released in a number of countries around the world. Some of which include: HONG KONG, Malaysia, Singapore, various other countries in Asia and a few other countries around the world. So far the WORLD WIDE BOX OFFICE (including the U.S.A., Canada and all other countries) has registered a total of about US$139 MILLION DOLLARS to the week ending November 2, 1998...

RUSH HOUR has been scheduled for a JANUARY 14, 1999 release across Australia...

MR. NICE GUY has been rescheduled to an APRIL 1, 1999 release across Australia...

JACKIE CHAN returned home to Hong Kong at the end of September. He returned home a major Hollywood success at last. Having finally achieved that ultimate dream of being a HUGE success in Hollywood, of one day being "bigger than E.T.!" Finally Jackie has achieved these dreams, after all his years of blood sweat and tears, he NOW has that ultimate worldwide success, that household name status, that he has dreamt of for so long!

CONGRATULATIONS JACKIE! WE LOVE YOU!

When returning from the U.S.A. Jackie went to TAIWAN in order to cast for his new movie, tentatively titled at that time "WHO ARE YOU" due to a competition being run by the producers of the movie in order to find just the "right" leading actress to star opposite Jackie in his new Hong Kong move. (See AUGUST NEWS for more details). More than 6000 girls were said to have entered the competition. Of those 6000 about 150 were chosen to be auditioned, not just for the lead role opposite Jackie, but also for numerous supporting roles in the new film. See OCTOBER NEWS for the outcome of these auditions and the change in title for "Who Are You?" to "The BOTTLE."

In September, a sad event for Hong Kong occurred: after almost 3 decades, GOLDEN HARVEST decided to close its famous studio doors in Hong Kong and relocate to another region, (a number of which are still under consideration, including Singapore). It is estimated that it could take some years to finalise and then settle into a new location. Meanwhile, Golden Harvest will rent/lease space in Hong Kong until a new location can be settled upon. This came about after Golden Harvest failed to retain a lease on their current property at "Diamond Hill" in Hong Kong. The government would not renew the lease, due to wanting the property for real estate development. Golden Harvest then put in a bid for land put up for tender by the government. Unfortunately they lost that bid to Shaws studios.., and so now have to find an alternative location for their own studios.

Golden Harvest and Shaws, (along with 4 or 5 others), submitted a tender for the government land. Shaws won it. This was somewhat disappointing to Golden Harvest and to Jackie. According to rumours in the press.., Golden Harvest had chosen the land themselves originally and had been in negotiations to acquire it, when the government decided to put the land up for tender instead, and therefore invite others to make applications for a lease on the property in question. Jackie and the management at Golden Harvest had felt that Golden Harvest had a strong chance of winning the bid, partly due to the fact that they had set up the original negotiations for the land, before the government decided to put it up for tender, and also due to the history of G/H Studios, as well as Jackie's long time association with them, and all that they had together positively contributed to the Hong Kong Film Industry and Hong Kong in general over all these years past. Sadly, the government appeared to have disregarded the History of Golden Harvest and Jackie and all of their contributions over the years and all that they could contribute in the years to come, and appear to have given the land to the higher bidder, (according of course, to the H.K. press, that is.....)

Part of the reason for the need to move Golden Harvest Studios is reported to be due to the fact that their lease ran out for the "DIAMOND HILL" premises, and the government was extremely reluctant to renew it. Instead wanting it for real estate development in the future. According to press reports, Golden Harvest felt that rather than pay increased leasing costs (if they could retain the land), and added extra expenses for attempting to retain the land, especially with the insecurity of how long they could keep it, (as they were only offered a month to month leasing arrangement), that it would be better to relinquish it as a possibility and so therefore find an alternative location.

POSSIBLY, (according to "speculation" in the press), due to the recent decision to close of Golden Harvest Studios in Hong Kong, as well as (and especially) the recent take over bid of Village Roadshow Australia, which resulted in them managing to obtain 50% of the shares in Golden Harvest Distribution, (the public G/H company), (see JULY/AUGUST NEWS for further details), Jackie, Raymond Chow and 6 other Directors made the decision to resign from their positions on the Board of Directors for GOLDEN HARVEST (the public company), Jackie Chan does, however, still retain his shares to "GOLDEN HARVEST DISTRIBUTION" (the public company) and still maintains a strong controlling interest in Golden Harvest Productions, (the PRIVATE G/H company)...

So as at September 30, 1998 Jackie no longer sits on the Board Of Directors for the Public Company. He still, however, maintains controlling interests in GOLDEN HARVEST the "PRIVATE" company and appears to have no intentions so far of relinquishing that control in the near future, if at all...

Therefore, on September 30, 1998 Golden Harvest Studios finally closed its doors in Hong Kong for the last time. The final movie to be made in the studios there will be Jackie's new Hong Kong production called "THE BOTTLE." (Retitled from "Who Are You?") See OCTOBER NEWS for further details. After the movie is completed filming at the studios they will be demolished. This is estimated to be sometime in November or December, 1998.

Golden Harvest Productions (the private company), have also down sized over the past couple of months. An estimated 100 employees are said to have been stood down due to the upheavals going on at G.H. during the July to September period. According to the press, the stand downs are a result of the failure to win the land bin and the necessity of having to close the studios down in H.K.


"MORE" TO COME VERY SOON FOR SEPTEMBER 1998 AS
Work Still In Progress
SEPTEMBER 1998 NEWS IS "STILL" BEING RESEARCHED & COMPILED


For further news about Jackie Chan & his activities
please see these Australian J.C. Fan Club news pages below.:
CURRENT JACKIE CHAN NEWS UPDATE
 APRIL to AUGUST 1999 JACKIE CHAN NEWS UPDATE
JANUARY TO MARCH 1999 JACKIE CHAN NEWS UPDATE
OCTOBER to DECEMBER 1998 JACKIE CHAN NEWS UPDATE
AUGUST 1998 JACKIE CHAN NEWS UPDATE
JULY 1998 JACKIE CHAN NEWS UPDATE
JUNE 1998 JACKIE CHAN NEWS UPDATE


I AM JACKIE CHAN: My Life In Action
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