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Japanese Box Office, August 23–24: DMC at #2

posted on by Egan Loo
Detroit Metal City does not dethrone Ponyo, whose CD single stays in top 5

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, Hayao Miyazaki's first feature film in nearly four years, completed its sixth weekend at #1 at the Japanese box office from August 23 to August 24. In the 41 days from its July opening to August 28, the movie has been seen over 10 million times — specifically, 10,097,584 times. Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle reached that same goal in 44 days in 2004, and his Princess Mononoke film reached it in 66 days in 1997. However, the director's highest grossing film, Spirited Away, attained that mark in a record 31 days in 2001. Ponyo has earned 11.9 billion yen (about US$110 million) in 48 theaters as of August 27. The CD single of the theme song "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" has also spent its sixth week in Oricon's weekly top-10 chart. It reached #1 in July, then dropped to #6, stayed at #3 for four straight weeks, and finally dipped to #5 in the past week. The single by eight-year-old singer Nozomi Ōhashi and the duo Fujioka Fujimaki actually debuted in December, seven months before the film itself opened.

Toshio Lee's live-action adaptation of Kiminori Wakasugi's Detroit Metal City rock parody manga opened at #2. 240,000 people, mostly in their teens and twenties, saw the film in the first two days. The film (pictured at right) was buoyed by the popularity of its lead actor Ken'ichi Matsuyama (Death Note's L, NANA's Shinichi "Shin" Okazaki) and cameos by several real-life rockers. Michael Patrick King's The Sex and the City and Dave Filoni's Star Wars: The Clone Wars spinoff films opened at #3 and #6, respectively.

Kunihiko Yuyama's Pocket Monsters Diamond & Pearl: Giratina to Sora no Hanataba Shaymin, the Pokémon franchise's 11th feature film, dropped from #3 to #5 in its sixth weekend. 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, also fell from #6 to #8 in its ninth weekend. The twin movie billing of Kamen Rider Kiva and Engine Sentai Go-onger fell from #8 to #9 in its third weekend. 159,238 people had spent 186,948,600 yen (US$1.7311 million) to see the film on 287 theaters in its August 9-10 opening weekend.

Hajime Kamegaki's Naruto Shippūden: Kizuna, the fifth feature movie in the Naruto ninja franchise, dropped from #9 off the chart in its fourth 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, also dropped out of the top-10 chart for the second time in its seventh weekend, after briefly rising to #9 last week.

Thank you to maaya for pointing out the unposted news piece on the "Ponyo" CD single last month.

Source: Kogyo Tsushinsha, Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Eiga.com

Image © 2008 Detroit Metal City Production Committee

This article has a follow-up: Japanese Box Office, August 30–31: Ponyo Drops to #3 (2008-09-05 14:46)
follow-up of Japanese Box Office, August 16–17: Ponyo's 5th #1
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