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Tonde Saitama, Alita Rank #1, #2 in Japan Box Office

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
City Hunter drops to #8, Code Geass to #10

The live-action film adaptation of Mineo Maya's Tonde Saitama (Fly Me to Saitama) manga sold 191,000 tickets for 259,038,800 yen (about US$2.33 million) on Saturday and Sunday to top the Japanese box office in its opening weekend. The film opened in 318 theaters last Friday and has earned 330,949,400 yen (about US$2.985 million) so far.

Hideki Takeuchi (live-action Nodame Cantabile, Thermae Romae) directed the film, and Tomokazu Tokunaga (live-action Densha Otoko) wrote the script. Hanawa performed the film's theme song "Saitama-ken no Uta" (The Song of Saitama Prefecture).

There are two parts to the film: a "legend part" that focuses on Rei and Momomi, and a "modern part" that focuses on a certain Saitama family through whom the legend is told.

In the story, those who live in Saitama Prefecture are ruthlessly persecuted by those who live in Tokyo, so the citizens of Saitama Prefecture hide this fact from others. High school student Momomi Dannoura is the son of the governor of Tokyo, and he is also the student council president at Hokuhodo Academy, the top high school in Tokyo. One day, he meets Rei Asami, a mysterious transfer student who has returned from America. Rei and Momomi are captivated by each other, but Momomi knows Rei is from Saitama Prefecture. The manga tells the story of two people split by a prefectural border, a Saitama "Romeo and Juliet." The couple try to elope and start a revolution to liberate Saitama Prefecture.

Alita: Battle AngelJames Cameron and Robert Rodriguez's live-action film of Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita (GUNNM) manga — sold 152,000 tickets for 247,626,500 million yen (about US$2.23 million) to rank #2 in on Saturday and Sunday in Japan. The film sold 212,630 tickets from Friday to Sunday to earn 342,731,800 million yen (about US$3.09 million) in its opening weekend. The film opened on 828 theaters in Japan last Friday.

The film opened in early February in the U.K. and in several countries in Asia before the film's U.S. debut on February 14. The film has earned a cumulative total of US$60,681,068 in the United States as of Sunday. The film earned an estimated equivalent of US$62.3 million in China in its opening weekend. According to Fox's estimates, the film has so far earned a cumulative total of US$263.3 million worldwide.

Deadline reported that the film earned an estimated US$92.4 million in 82 international markets over this past weekend, bringing its cumulative international box office total to US$202.7 million. According to Fox's estimates, the film has earned a cumulative total of US$263.3 million worldwide.

The movie has a reported production budget of US$200 million (US$170 million after tax credits). Deadline stated its sources are estimating the film will earn a final total of more than US$400 million worldwide. The site had stated earlier this week that Fox has said the number the film needs to make to break even is US$350-US$400 million, but Deadline added "other finance film sources with knowledge of the budget" state that number at US$500 million or more.

The movie stars Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Man Seeking Woman) in motion capture as Alita. Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Spy Kids) directed the film. James Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment partner Jon Landau produced the project, and Shutter Island's Laeta Kalogridis penned a script. Singer-songwriter Dua Lipa performed a new song titled "Swan Song" for the film.

City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes, the new anime film adaptation of Tsukasa Hojo's City Hunter manga, dropped from #5 to #8 in its third weekend. The film earned 108,153,800 yen (about US$974,200) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 1,005,602,900 yen (about US$9.05 million).

The film opened in Japan on February 8 in 251 theaters. The film sold 180,000 tickets to earn 257 million yen (about US$2.32 million) and rank #4 in its opening weekend.

Director Kenji Kodama, who has directed most of the previous City Hunter anime, returned as the chief director. Yoichi Kato (Aikatsu!, Yo-kai Watch, Monster Strike the Animation) penned the script. Kumiko Takahashi (Birdy the Mighty, Card Captor Sakura) was the character designer and Taku Iwasaki (Gurren Lagann, Gatchaman Crowds) composed the music. Sunrise animated the film. TM Network's song "Get Wild," the ending theme song for the first City Hunter television anime, was also the ending song for the film.

The new film moves the setting to present-day Shinjuku.

The Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection (Code Geass: Fukkatsu no Lelouch) sequel anime film dropped from #6 to #10 in its third weekend. The film earned 72,309,850 yen (about US$651,300) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 705,524,950 yen (about US$6.35 million).

The film ranked at #5 and earned earned 286.65 million yen (about US$2.59 million) in its opening weekend. Funimation will screen the film in North America on May 5 (subtitled), and on May 7-8 (dubbed).

Director Goro Taniguchi confirmed that many of the key staff members returned for the movie, and specifically emphasized that the story is complete in one film, which serves as a finale. Leo Ieiri performs the opening theme song "Kono Sekai de" (In This World), and Unione performs the ending theme song "Revive." In addition, Ali Project performs the insert song "Utsukushiki Kemonotachi no Tame no" (For the Beautiful Creatures).

The story begins in the world one year after Zero Requiem.

The live-action film of Tow Ubukata's Jūni-nin no Shinitai Kodomo-tachi (Twelve Children Who Want to Die) novel and Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System Case.2 First Guardian, the second of the Psycho-Pass: Sinners of the System film trilogy, dropped off the top 10 this weekend.

Sources: Eiga.com, Kōgyō Tsūshin (link 2), comScore via KOFIC


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