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2004 Sets New Japanese Box Office Record

posted on 2005-02-01 14:29 EST
Howl's Moving Castle Contributes to Box Office Surge

For the second year in a row, the Japanese Box Office reached a new record high. In 2004 210.9 billion yen ($US 2 billion) were spent on Japanese movie tickets, a 3.8% increase over the previous year. By the end of December, Howl's Moving Castle had earned over 10 billion yen, or 4.9% of Japan's total box office take for the year (Howl's Moving Castle continues to earn box office income in 2005, the 10.4 billion yen figure is only what it earned in 2004).

According to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, 170 million movie tickets were sold in 2004, a 4.8% increase over 2003.

Japanese movies made the biggest gains in 2004, with their total box office sales increasing by 17.8%, but only accounted for 37.5% of the total box office sales, or 79.1 billion yen. Foreign movies earned 131.9 billion yen in 2004, 3.1% less than in 2003.

The second and third ranking films of 2004 were Sekai no Chushin and Ima (Crying Out Love in the Center of the World) and Ai ni Yukimasu (Be with You). The three top movies were all love stories.

The biggest foreign movies released in Japan in 2004 were The Last Samurai, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Finding Nemo and the Return of the King.

Comparatively, the US Box office earned $9.4 billion in 2004.

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