Over 65,000 Watch 1st Death Note Film in U.S. Theaters
posted on by Egan Loo
The Variety Japan news source reports that over 65,000 people watched the first Death Note live-action film adaptation in 300 theaters on May 20 and 21. By contrast, over 6,000 people in 166 American theaters watched Viz Media's first foray into nationwide digital theater distribution (Naruto The Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow) on June 6, 2007. Viz Pictures Director of Marketing Manami Iiboshi noted that the NCM Fathom promotional agency had the Death Note film's trailer running in theaters across the nation for a month before the screenings. The film reportedly sold about 20,000 tickets in advance and about 40,000 tickets on the screening days. Viz Pictures has begun exploring the possibility of releasing the second live-action film, Death Note the Last name, in theaters this fall after the first movie ships on DVD in North America on September 16. Viz's next nationwide theatrical screenings will be next week's Bleach the Movie: Memories of Nobody.
Both Death Note movies adapt Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's hit supernatural suspense manga about a boy who discovers a notebook that can put people to death when their names are written in it. Over 800,000 copies of the 12 manga volumes have been sold in the United States, and the first volume has spent 89 weeks in the top-50 charts for all books. The Death Note: Another Note spinoff novel spent three weeks in the top-10 charts in the science fiction novel category. Several million viewers watch Adult Swim's weekly television airings of the 37-episode anime adaptation. The five currently available volumes of the anime DVDs have so far sold about 200,000 copies in Wal-Mart and other retailers, and consistently rank in the top 5 in anime sales charts. A third spinoff film has since been released in Japan, and American film production company Vertigo Entertainment (The Grudge, Dark Water, The Departed) is developing a possible remake of the story with writers Vlas and Charles Parlapanides.