Japanese Box Office, March 3-4

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Doraemon film debuts at #1; Liar Game: Reborn debuts at #2

Doraemon: Nobita to Kiseki no Shima ~Animal Adventure~, this year's Doraemon film, opened at No. 1 during the March 3-4 weekend. The story takes the robot cat Doraemon, his owner Nobita, and their friends to an island paradise full of animals that would have otherwise gone extinct. The film guest stars Nana Mizuki, Kouichi Yamadera, Masako Nozawa, and Atsuko Tanaka. The film earned US$6,812,341 on 359 screens.

The manga-based Liar Game: Reborn (Liar Game -Saisei-) live-action film debuted at No. 2. Shota Matsuda (Hana Yori Dango [2005]) reprises his lead role as the genius Akiyama from Shinobu Kaitani's Liar Game psychological thriller manga. Mikako Tabe (Kimi ni Todoke) plays the heroine Yū in a new game, while Mana Ashida (Usagi Drop/Bunny Drop) goes against typecasting as Alice, a member of the Liar Game organization. The film earned US$3,879,481 on 318 screens.

Always: Sunset on Third Street '64, the third live-action film based on Ryohei Saigan's nostalgic San-chōme no Yūhi - Yūyake no Uta manga directed by Takashi Yamazaki (live-action Space Battleship Yamato, Returner, Ballad) fell from No. 2 to No. 7 during its seventh weekend. The original manga, a 1990-1991 television anime series adaptation, and the first two live-action films followed the lives of people in a Tokyo neighborhood as the iconic Tokyo Tower rises above them. The film earned US$662,039 on 473 screens for a gross-to-date total of $39,210,165. (Note: Box Office Mojo's gross-to-date earnings for Always: Sunset on Third Street '64 as of the weekend of March 3-4 may be incorrect as they are less than the gross-to-date earnings as of February 25-26, which was listed at US$39,853,168.)

Takashi Miike's live-action adaptation of Capcom's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban) video game franchise fell from No. 8 to No. 12 in its fourth weekend. The film takes place in a parallel Japan, where a large increase in harsh crimes has led to a new court system. Under this new system, the defense attorney and public prosecutor have three days to battle cases out in open court to determine guilt or innocence of the accused, placing priority on speed instead of thorough investigation. The film earned US$306,288 on 275 screens for a new total of US$5,689,207.

The live-action film adaptation of Masaharu Noritsuke's Afro Tanaka comedy manga fell from No. 11 to No. 13 during its third weekend. Shota Matsuda (Liar Game, Hana Yori Dango [2005]) stars as an odd, Afro-haired young man named Hiroshi Tanaka who faces his greatest challenge at the age of 24: his first potential girlfriend (live-action Sazae-san special and Kaitō Royale's Nozomi Sasaki). The film earned US$180,971 on 72 screens for a new total of US$1,561,153.

The live-action film adaptation of Hikaru Nakamura's Arakawa Under the Bridge manga fell from No. 15 to No. 16 in its fifth weekend. In the story, an upper-class young man named Ko "Riku" Ichinomiya (Kento Hayashi) meets a beautiful homeless girl named Nino (Mirei Kiritani) from the banks of Arakawa River, where many of Tokyo's most unusual denizens live. The film earned US$62,760 on 81 screens for a new total of US$3,213,698.

Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger vs. Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie, the newest live-action Super Sentai film, fell off of Box Office Mojo's chart during its seventh weekend.

Sources: Kogyo Tsushinsha, Box Office Mojo

This article has a follow-up: Japanese Box Office, March 10-11 (2012-04-09 14:00)
follow-up of Japanese Box Office, February 25-26
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