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Thread: 2021 Year of the Ox

  1. #16
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    record breaking

    Feb 12, 2021 9:59am PT
    ‘Detective Chinatown 3’ Tops Chinese New Year Day With $163 Million, Breaking Record for Best Debut in a Single Market

    By Rebecca Davis


    Courtesy of WanDa Pictures
    The world’s largest film market is living up to its title with world-record-setting sales. “Detective Chinatown 3” shot past strong competition, as predicted, on its Chinese New Year opening day on Friday, notching a record-breaking $163 million (RMB1.05 billion) in sales despite poor word of mouth.

    The sum marks the highest ever opening day tally for a film in a single market, beating out former title-holder “Avengers: Endgame,” which grossed $157 million in North America on its first day in 2019.

    “Detective Chinatown” sales on Friday accounted for more than 60% of China’s total new year’s day box office nationwide, which surpassed that of 2019 at $268 million (RMB1.73 billion).


    The massive commercial success of director Chen Sicheng’s comedic mystery also propelled Imax to new heights. As of Friday evening local time, the firm “very confidently” projected full-day China earnings of $7.7 million from three films, 18% more than on Chinese New Year’s Day in 2019. Almost all of that revenue — some $7.4 million, or 96% — came from “Detective Chinatown 3,” which was shot on Imax cameras.

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    That marks the highest opening day for a Chinese film in Imax of all time. It also marks the third-highest ever opening day for any Imax film, foreign or local, in China, behind “Avengers: Endgame” ($14 million) and “Avengers: Infinity War” ($8.1 million).

    According to data from the Maoyan industry tracker, 38% of all scheduled Friday screenings in China were for “Detective Chinatown.” They saw 69.4% attendance rates, meaning that most screenings were almost sold out each time, given the government’s current 75% cap on max cinema capacity to curb the spread of COVID-19 over the holidays.

    Maoyan is currently estimating a whopping $976 million (RMB6.3 billion) total run for “Detective Chinatown 3” within the China market alone. That would be almost double the world’s top grossing picture of 2020, “The Eight Hundred,” which earned $461 million, and make the film the country’s highest earner in history. Current local estimates expect the film to reach $400 million over the three-day period of its first weekend.

    Audiences have been yearning to see the Tokyo-set third installment of the “Detective Chinatown” franchise since last Chinese New Year, when it was a frontrunner but was extensively delayed due to COVID-19-induced cinema closures at the time.

    Nevertheless, the film’s high volume of ticket sales comes despite poor word of mouth online. It has a mere 6.8 out of 10 rating on the taste-making Douban platform, where a third of users have given it just three out of five stars and 6% have given it the lowest possible one-star rating.

    Many were put off by excessive product placement amidst the action. “I have never seen such shameless acts of inserting advertisements into a film before,” wrote one top comment on the site liked thousands of times. Another two-star review summed up the caper: “In a runtime of 136 minutes, it’s 110 minutes of running + 15 minutes of father-daughter interaction + 10 minutes of deduction + 1 minute of commercials.”


    Numerous others felt fatigued by the franchise’s over-the-top comedic style. “You can tell from the first five minutes that this film is a dud. Everyone in it is screaming,” wrote one, while another chimed: “[Lead actor] Wang Baoqiang’s style of pretending to be crazy and stupid has reached the point of just being disgusting.”

    Others complained that some of the gags were disrespectful to healthcare workers and women.

    It’s worth noting that Chinese box office darlings of years past — including “Wolf Warrior 2,” the 2019 Chinese New Year breakout sci-fi epic “The Wandering Earth,” and “Nezha,” the country’s top three grossers — were all unexpected hits that saw slower box office growth propelled by strong word of mouth over time, rather than a sudden first day explosion in sales.

    The Lunar New Year holiday, which this year runs from Feb. 11 to 17, is typically the most lucrative period of the year for China — a mere week in which most cinemas make more than a tenth of their annual revenue. This year, seven major tentpoles debuted on Feb. 12, with two more smaller films set to open on Valentine’s Day.

    The light-hearted time-travel-themed rom-com “Hi, Mom” from writer-director-actor Jia Ling came in second with $35.5 million (RMB229 million), while “A Writer’s Odyssey,” an action-adventure film from Lu Yang (“Brotherhood of Blades”), ranked third with $21.4 million (RMB138 million).

    In fourth was the perennial new year children’s favorite, animated “Boonie Bears” franchise film “The Wild Life,” which earned $17.7 (RMB114 million). Director Li Weiran’s live-action fantasy “The YinYang Master” came in fifth with $12.8 million (RMB82.4 million).

    “New Gods: Nezha Reborn,” another cartoon depiction of the popular folk god Nezha, ranked sixth with a $8.97 million (RMB57.9 million) debut, while crime thriller “Endgame” was the last amongst the new releases, opening to just $6.94 million (RMB44.8 million).

    Box office ranking ultimately matched up exactly with each film’s success in pre-sales, according to Maoyan. In that category, “Detective Chinatown 3” had far and away led the pack, with pre-sale ticket sales of $148 million (RMB955 million) as of early Friday evening — $104 million (RMB674 million) of which were for opening day. Its closest competitor, “Hi, Mom,” sold $34 million (RMB219 million), while third place “A Writer’s Odyssey” sold $13.4 million (RMB86.4 million).

    “The outstanding performance of the film market is due to a sufficient supply of films during Spring Festival… of diversified content and genres,” wrote an analysis piece published by the People’s Daily newspaper, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece.

    Another major factor, it said, was that due to COVID-19, citizens have been strongly urged to celebrate the new year in place without travelling home, meaning that many — particularly urban migrant workers who would typically return to rural hometowns — are experiencing an unconventional holiday in which movie-going may appear to be a more attractive option.
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  2. #17
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    2021 Year of the Ox

    Netflix Picks Up Chinese Animated Feature ‘New Gods: Nezha Reborn’
    1:29 AM PST 2/17/2021 by Patrick Brzeski

    Courtesy of Netflix / Light Chaser Animation Studios
    'New Gods - Nezha Reborn'

    Produced by pioneering Beijing-based studio Light Chaser Animation, the film has earned $36 million since its premiere last weekend over China’s Lunar New Year holiday.
    Netflix has acquired worldwide streaming rights to Chinese animated film New Gods: Nezha Reborn, which opened theatrically in China last weekend at the start of the Lunar New Year holiday.

    The film is produced by pioneering Beijing-based studio Light Chaser Animation. The movie is based on the oft-adapted classical Chinese novel The Investiture of the Gods, but Light Chaser has given the material a vivid pop-culture spin in a bid to generate excitement among Chinese youth.

    Those efforts have yielded a modest success at China’s booming box office. Among the seven Chinese New Year titles that released last Friday, Nezha Reborn currently ranks fifth with $36.5 million in total sales, according to ticketing service Maoyan. But the movie has been a favorite among China's more discerning filmgoers. On the influential movie reviews site Douban, which tends to be a reliable barometer for film quality in China, Nezha Reborn ranks second best among the new releases, with a user reviews score of 7.4. It's trailing only the ascendent box-office champ Hi, Mom, which has a Douban score of 8.2 and total earnings of $403 million. The solid critical reception suggests strong legs for Nezha Reborn for the rest of the holiday and beyond.

    Nezha Reborn was created over a period of four years by the same creative team that produced Light Chaser’s 2019 hit White Snake, a co-production with Warner Bros. that earned $61.6 million in China. The new feature is directed by veteran animator Zhao Ji, who also co-directed White Snake. The voice cast includes Yang Tianxiang, Xuan Xiaoming, Ling Zhenhe, Zhu Ke’er and Li Shimeng.

    Netflix hasn’t been able to launch its service in China because of the Beijing government’s ban on foreign streaming platforms. But in recent years the company has acquired a number of major Chinese blockbusters — such as sci-fi hit The Wandering Earth and comic book adaptation Animal World — making them available to the Chinese diaspora audience around the world.

    A streaming release date for Nezha Reborn is yet to be revealed. The official summary for the film is as follows: "Set in a mythical world, Donghai City, a melting pot where gods and people from different cultures co-exist, Nezha is reborn as Li Yunxiang, a young daredevil, 3,000 years after the original Battle of the Gods. Yunxiang grows up as a cool regular boy, who earns his living as a delivery courier. His love for motor racing and adventure prevail even as he discovers his true identity as Nezha. Yunxiang encounters his mortal enemies, the Dragon Clan, who are now living as super wealthy businessmen, feared and revered in Donghai City. Boss De, the Dragon King of the East China Sea or The Patriarch of the Dragon Clan, vows to revitalise the Dragon Clan in the new world. He is accompanied in this film by his three sons, The Three Princes, who are intent on killing Nezha to avenge their clan. New Gods: Nezha Reborn tells the story of how Yunxiang discovers his true identity and valiantly battles the Dragon Clan, their masked assassin, and other enemies, to protect his friends and family in a tale of life and death."

    PATRICK BRZESKI

    patrick.brzeski@thr.com
    @thr


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  3. #18
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    $1.2b


    Chinese New Year Box Office Hits $1.2B, Sets Record High Over Holiday Period


    By Nancy Tartaglione
    International Box Office Editor/Senior Contributor
    @DeadlineNancy

    February 17, 2021 12:40pm


    Wanda Pictures
    The Chinese New Year box office achieved yet another milestone Wednesday, with grosses for the holiday period growing to an estimated RMB 7.78 billion ($1.2 billion). This beats the previous all-time high set during the comparable 2019 holiday (RMB 5.9B). China often outdoes itself, but the fact that 2021’s Lunar New Year frame came with Covid capacity restrictions makes the performance even more staggering.

    Factors working in the session’s favor included a diverse slate of seven new local titles (including two powerhouses at the top), as well as increased ticket prices in some areas, additional screens versus 2019 and a reduction in travel which made moviegoing the first-choice activity for people who were not journeying to see family as would normally be the case during the holiday.

    After setting new records for opening day and opening weekend in a single market (February 12-14), Wanda Pictures’ Detective Chinatown 3 has grossed RMB 3.56B ($551 million) through Wednesday. It is not only far and away the top movie of the year globally, but is also nearly 20% bigger than 2020’s top worldwide title, China’s The Eight Hundred — and this after just six days of play, with more to come.

    While DC3 led the weekend, Beijing Culture’s time-travel comedy Hi, Mom was atop the daily charts from Monday-Wednesday and has grossed RMB 2.73B ($423M). Hi, Mom is projected by Maoyan to top out at RMB 5.28 ($817M), which would make it the No. 2 movie ever in the market. DC3 is eyeing RMB 4.51B ($698M), estimates Maoyan, a 33% local currency increase on the previous installment in the popular franchise.

    Overall, there were seven new local movies for the New Year session which rolled out beginning February 12; the public holiday in China ran from February 11-17, though celebrations continue. Through Wednesday, the titles above are rounded out by A Writer’s Odyssey (RMB 538.2/$83.32M), Boonie Bears: The Wild Life (RMB 407M/$63M), New Gods: Nezha Reborn (RMB240.1M/$37.2M), The Yin Yang Master (RMB 211M/$33M) and Endgame (151M/$23.4M).

    Xinhua reports that more than 155 million tickets were sold during the New Year frame, up from 130M in 2019. That’s reflective of pent-up demand for big new titles — especially given Detective Chinatown 3 was delayed by a year when Covid shuttered cinemas in early 2020 — and in part reflective of the increased number of screens in the market, which was 75,500 by the end of 2020, compared to just under 70,000 at the end of 2019.

    China was the first country severely hit by the coronavirus, and implemented strict lockdown measures across the board. After six months of cinema closures, it slowly re-acclimated audiences. That began in July 2020 with some import titles whose releases had been delayed by Covid (think: Dolittle) and library movies like the first Harry Potter and some older Christopher Nolan pics. Once the market was primed, China released The Eight Hundred to huge results last August. Notes an international exec, “What China is showing is that where the virus is under control and people feel safe, they’re coming back (to cinemas) in droves.” We’ve seen some similar phenomena in Korea and Japan, although with more Covid ebbs and flows affecting momentum.

    The early estimated RMB 7.78B Chinese New Year period (which also includes holdover play from movies like Disney-Pixar’s Soul), is already 38% of the total box office for 2020 in China. It’s also about 10% of 2020 global box office, 12% of international box office and 55% of domestic box office last year.

    For the first month and a half of 2021, China box office has crossed RMB 10B, according to state news media, meaning it’s already more than 50% of 2020’s full gross. The good news out of China hopefully serves as an indicator of recovery that will be seen in other markets as they get back up and running with new product.
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  4. #19
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    $127b


    Lunar New Year holiday consumption in China jumps to more than US$127 billion

    Consumption for the holiday in 2021 sees a 28.7 per cent increase from 2020
    Spending still below the amount in 2019, which was over 1 trillion yuan

    Linda Lew
    Published: 9:30am, 18 Feb, 2021


    A man makes an offering as a lion dance team perform inside a mall in Beijing on Tuesday, on the fifth day of the Lunar New Year. Photo: AFP
    Chinese consumers spent about 821 billion yuan (US$127 billion) on shopping and dining during this year’s Spring Festival holiday, an increase from 2020 but still below the amount in 2019, which was over 1 trillion yuan, according to government data.
    China has been battling Covid-19 outbreaks in a number of provinces this year. As a result, the annual Lunar New Year mass migration home and consumption were disrupted as health authorities required people from high- and medium-risk areas to spend the holiday where they worked or studied, and avoid large gatherings or unnecessary travel.
    The 2021 figure, released on Wednesday by China’s Ministry of Commerce, also revealed the hit to last year’s holiday spending, as statistics for that period were not published last year.
    Consumption for the holiday in 2021 saw a 28.7 per cent increase from 2020, which meant last year’s spending stood at about 638 billion yuan.

    Security guards patrol in a shopping district during the Lunar New Year holiday in Beijing, China on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters
    “2020 was a highly unusual year that saw complicated domestic and international macro-environments, especially due to the serious impact from Covid-19,” said a January 2021 report by the Ministry of Commerce that evaluated consumption in the last year.
    “The pandemic has hit the consumer market like never before, with the total retail sales of consumer goods falling by 20.5 per cent compared to the same time last year,” the report said.
    But as the outbreak came under control, consumption rebounded. Total retail sales of consumer goods recorded positive growth again in August last year, and maintained a growing trend in the past five months, reflecting the vitality of China’s domestic demand, said the ministry report.
    China was the only major economy in the world to record economic growth in 2020, at 2.3 per cent. The World Bank estimated a 3.6 per cent contraction for the US economy last year and 7.4 per cent drop for the euro zone.
    Economic growth in China for 2021 was still uncertain as analysts said that will depend on the success of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out and government policies to stimulate the recovery.
    Investment bank Natixis wrote in a February research note that business sentiment has dropped slightly due to the tightened Covid-19 containment measures in China before the Lunar New Year but that economic activities were growing.
    “However, the economic situation down the road is still uncertain,” Natixis wrote, depending on how the Covid-19 situation evolved and the roll-out of the vaccine.
    “Economic situation is likely to improve if the containment measures can again put the Covid-19 situation under control,” it added.
    I hope the rest of the global economy can bounce back with the same resilience.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #20
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    Our latest sweepstakes. Enter to win!

    Enter to win a 2021 Kung Fu Year of the Ox T-shirt.
    Contest ends 3/4/2021

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  6. #21
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    Mom beats Detective

    Feb 21, 2021 11:01am PT
    China Box Office: ‘Hi, Mom’ Overtakes Initial Frontrunner ‘Detective Chinatown 3’ in Total Sales


    By Rebecca Davis


    Beijing Culture
    The Beijing Culture-backed tear-jerking comedy “Hi, Mom” grossed $134 million this weekend to finally surpass Wanda Film’s record-breaking Chinese New Year holiday frontrunner “Detective Chinatown 3” in overall box office, having led the latter in single-day returns since Monday.

    It is now only the sixth film to ever have grossed more than RMB400 million ($62 million) in China, a feat achieved by “Detective Chinatown 3,” “Avengers: Endgame” and four other local titles.

    The upset shows just how important strong word of mouth is these days in the world’s largest film market. With its 2020 debut delayed due to COVID-19, “Detective Chinatown 3” had a year-long head start over its competitors. While its aggressive promotional campaigns and the strength of its franchise pulled in audiences initially to generate a world record-breaking debut weekend, they have proven no match for the grassroots support that has emerged for the comedy that has organically captured hearts across the country.

    The Jia Ling-helmed film has consistently received the highest user ratings among all seven of the blockbusters that premiered on Lunar New Year’s Day Feb. 12, and currently ranks 8.1 out of 10 on the popular Douban platform. “Detective Chinatown 3” languishes in last with 5.6 out of 10.

    Inspired by the life story of her own mother, who passed away when Jia was 19, and adapted from a play she wrote in 2016, “Hi, Mom” tells the emotional tale of a woman who travels back in time to befriend her own mother and try to make her life better.

    It has currently sold a total of $624 million (RMB4.05 billion) in tickets, while “Detective Chinatown 3” has sold $621 million (RMB4.03 billion), according to real-time data from Maoyan pulled just after midnight local time. Over the weekend, it brought in $134 million, more than triple second place “Detective,” which grossed $42.3 million.

    From sales in just the China market alone, both titles have now far surpassed the world’s highest grossing film of 2020: China’s “The Eight Hundred,” which earned $468 million.

    The strong performance of “Hi, Mom” has been a boon to its main backer Beijing Culture, which has floundered financially over the last two years but seen a recent uptick in its stock price in wake of the hit.

    In third place was Huace Film and TV’s “A Writer’s Odyssey,” which earned a further $20.2 million this weekend to bring its current cume up to $113 million (RMB733 million).

    In fourth was the Andy Lau-starring “Endgame,” which has had strong word of mouth as the second highest-rated title of the holiday but languished in last place until now due to lower numbers of scheduled screenings. It made $14.7 million this weekend and now has a 10-day cume of $42.9 million (RMB278 million).

    Animations “Boonie Bears: The Wild Life” and “New Gods: Nezha Reborn” came in fifth and sixth, grossing $9.9 million and $9.17 million, bringing their cumes up to $77.7 million (RMB504 million) and $50.4 million (RMB327 million), respectively. In seventh was the Huayi-backed special effects-heavy fantasy film “The YinYang Master,” which brought in only a further $2.64 million. It has grossed $36.6 million (237.5 million) so far.

    Next Friday will see the release of Warner Brothers’ live-action animation hybrid reboot “Tom and Jerry,” which is currently the first foreign film to hit Chinese screens in the wake of the Chinese New Year holiday blackout on imports. Disney’s Southeast Asia-inspired “Raya and the Last Dragon” will then debut in cinemas on March 5.
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  7. #22
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    $1.2 B. wow. I hope the US film market can come back so well

    China’s Lunar New Year box office revenues soar by a third to record US$1.21 billion as cinemas fill up amid travel restrictions
    Strict measures to avoid a return of Covid-19 meant more people stayed put during the festival season instead of returning to their hometowns for family reunions
    Ticket sales were dominated by the comedies Hi, Mom and Detective Chinatown 3, which became the fifth and sixth top-grossing movies of all time in the Chinese film market

    Cheryl Heng
    Published: 6:44pm, 23 Feb, 2021


    People queue to enter a cinema in Beijing on February 17, 2021. Photo: Xinhua
    China’s box office revenues climbed to a record high during the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, signalling a promising recovery of the world’s largest film market from the coronavirus fallout last year.
    Holiday movie ticket sales in China reached 7.8 billion yuan (US$1.21 billion) during the week of February 11 to 17, up 32.5 per cent from the 2019 Lunar New Year holiday, according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan Entertainment.
    Ticketing revenue for 2020 was omitted as cinemas were shut between January and July amid the coronavirus crisis.
    The resurgence at the box office may have been powered by stricter travel measures put in place to limit the annual Lunar New Year mass migration, in a bid to prevent a return of Covid-19. People stayed put during the festival season instead of returning to their hometowns for family reunions.
    Some 44 per cent of those surveyed by the Maoyan Research Institute said they watched more movies during this year’s festive season than they did in 2019, citing more leisure time as their main reason.
    More than 40 per cent of theatre screenings were fully booked in the first three days of the festive season.
    Box office sales in the period were dominated by family comedy Hi, Mom and mystery comedy Detective Chinatown 3. The films had raked in earnings of 4.24 billion yuan and 4.1 billion yuan respectively as of Tuesday, making them the fifth and sixth top-grossing movies of all time in the Chinese film market, a whisker behind Avengers 4: Endgame at 4.25 billion yuan, Maoyan data showed.
    Detective Chinatown 3, the third instalment of the popular cop series, led China’s box office in the first few days of the holiday with its strong franchise appeal and marketing buzz.
    But it was inched out of first place by the strong word-of-mouth appeal of comedian Jia Ling’s maiden directorial work, Hi, Mom, a heartwarming story of a daughter who travels back in time to meet her mother.
    The first six days of the Lunar New Year emerged as being among the top 10 highest box office revenue days in China’s film history, even as most theatres were limited to three-quarters seating capacity.
    China took the top spot for global cinema receipts last year, overtaking the US as the pandemic shut American cinemas for longer than their Chinese counterparts. Ticket sales in China came to 20 billion yuan (US$3.06 billion) in 2020, surpassing the US$2.28 billion of receipts in the US, according to data from Maoyan and Comscore.
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  8. #23
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    Continuing on

    Far East Cafe owners decide to keep 100-year-old S.F. Chinatown restaurant alive

    Janelle Bitker
    March 3, 2021
    Updated: March 3, 2021 4:47 p.m.

    Far East Cafe owner Bill Lee poses for a portrait in one of the signature booths inside the main dining room of Far East Cafe in the Chinatown neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. Thursday, January 28, 2021. Far East Cafe is one of two remaining banquet halls in Chinatown and is still being stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the threat of becoming extinct.Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

    Far East Cafe opens for indoor dining today and will expand its hours to five days a week, marking a return to form for San Francisco Chinatown’s 100-year-old banquet restaurant that nearly shut down at the end of 2020.

    The owners of Far East Cafe have officially decided to continue operating the restaurant, as first reported by Sing Tao Daily and confirmed to The Chronicle by the Chinatown Community Development Center. Of course, in the volatile restaurant industry there is no such thing as permanence, but it marks a quick and significant reversal for a restaurant that announced it would close in December.

    The restaurant will open indoors at 25% capacity in addition to offering outdoor dining and takeout for its generously portioned Cantonese and Chinese American dishes like wonton soup and egg foo young.

    As one of Chinatown’s last-remaining banquet halls, there was an outpour of community support for Far East Cafe when its pending closure was first reported. Individuals donated money. The restaurant started making meals for vulnerable neighbors through a new partnership between nonprofit S.F. New Deal and Chinatown Community Development Center, with $1.9 million in funding from the city. And the restaurant’s landlord offered 50% off of rent, in addition to six free months last year, according to Sing Tao Daily.



    Far East Cafe. Indoor dining, outdoor dining and takeout. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday-Sunday. 631 Grant Ave., San Francisco.
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  9. #24
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    Our winners are announced

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  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Haven't watched it but the picture Is really dope. Each character brings little vibes to me about them.

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