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Japanese Box Office, August 9–10: Ponyo's Month at #1

posted on by Egan Loo
Pokémon films earn 50B yen; 2008 Kamen Rider/Ranger film opens at #4

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (pictured at right), Hayao Miyazaki's first feature film in nearly four years, is about to complete its first month at #1 at the Japanese box office after the August 9–10 weekend. Despite the recent start of Beijing 2008 Olympics, Ponyo's latest weekend box office take was still 760 million yen (about US$7 million), or 96.8% of the previous weekend's take. A total of 6 million people have now seen the film, and it has garnered over 7.2 billion yen (US$66 million) as of Monday. Even Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, which is poised to take the #2 spot in the all-time international box office chart from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, settled for #2 in its Japanese opening this past weekend.

Kunihiko Yuyama's Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl: Giratina to Sora no Hanataba Shaymin, the Pokémon franchise's 11th feature film, dropped from #2 to #3, but it still has 3.33 billion yen (US$30 million) after four weekends. As of August 12, the 11 films in the Pokémon franchise have earned over 50 billion yen (US$460 million) at the Japanese box office. The first Pokémon movie (1998) eventually earned 7.24 billion yen (US$66 million), but the annual films since then have earned about 400 mlllion yen (US$3.7 million) each. 43,350,000 attendees spent 5.02 billion yen (US$47 million) to see last year's Pokémon film. The twin movie billing of Kamen Rider Kiva and Engine Sentai Go-onger opened below this year's Pokémon film at #4.

Boys Over Flowers: Final (Hana Yori Dango Final), Yasuharu Ishii's live-action film finale based on Yōko Kamio's Boys Over Flowers (Hana Yori Dango) romantic comedy manga, stayed at #5 in its seventh weekend. Hajime Kamegaki's Naruto Shippūden: Kizuna, the fifth feature movie in the Naruto ninja franchise, dropped from #3 to #7 in its second weekend. The Sky Crawlers, Mamoru Oshii's first fully animated work since 2004's Ghost in the Shell sequel Innocence, fell from #7 to #9 in its second weekend. GeGeGe no Kitarō: Sennen Noroi Uta (GeGeGe no Kitarō : The Thousand-Year-Curse Song), the live-action film sequel based on Shigeru Mizuki's supernatural manga, dropped from #10 off the top 10 chart in its fifth weekend.

Source: Kogyo Tsushinsha, Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web, Variety Japan, Sports Nippon

Image © 2008 Nibariki, GNDHDDT

This article has a follow-up: Japanese Box Office, August 16–17: Ponyo's 5th #1 (2008-08-19 18:26)
follow-up of Japanese Box Office, August 2–3: Ponyo's 3rd Week at #1
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