Anime Programming in the US
Making a Living in Manga in Japan with Felipe Smith
Lost in Translation
Yasuharu Ishii's live-action film finale based on Yoko Kamio's Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango) shōjo romantic comedy manga opened at #1 at the Japanese box office during the June 21-22 weekend. Boys Over Flowers: Final (Hana Yori Dango Final) earned over 1 billion yen or US$9,631,782 on 400 screens that weekend (Box Office Mojo). As the only manga- or anime-based film on the top 10 chart, Boys Over Flowers: Final took the #1 spot from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was the top-grossing film the previous weekend. Since the film is tracking about 150% higher than TOHO's Sekai no Chushin de, Ai wo Sakebu Socrates in Love film (8.5 billion yen or about US$81 million at the box office) in 2004, the Mainichi Shimbun paper reports that the new film may earn over 10 billion yen (US$94 million) in the end.
In the first nine days of the Boys Over Flowers film's release, over 2 million people have seen it. The movie serves as a finale for Ishii's two hit live-action television series and one television special that were also based on the manga. All four of these live-action incarnations starred Mao Inoue as the strong-willed girl named Tsukushi who perseveres at an elitist academy and in life after high school. (The manga was previously adapted into a 1995 live-action film that is otherwise unrelated to Ishii and Inoue's version.) A new manga volume was published in the same week as the film, and it reached #1 on the weekly comic rankings.
Image © 2008 Boys Over Flowers: Final Production Committee