It may not be “Jurassic Park,” but from opening weekend results it seems that “Cliffhanger” will at least be a small dinosaur of a hit in Japan for Columbia/TriStar.Getting a jump on the Christmas/New Year’s season releases, “Cliffhanger” earned nearly 283 million yen (about $ 2.5 million) at the B.O. for Saturday and Sunday in just the nine key cities (Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Kawasaki), according to a representative of Japanese distributor Toho-Towa. This usually represents about 60% of the domestic total. The rep said this figure makes “Cliffhanger” one of Japan’s “biggest movies of the year, right next to UIP’s ‘Jurassic Park.’ ” He said the opening weekend results are “just about what (Toho-Towa) hoped for.” From these preliminary results, he puts “Cliffhanger’s” Japan total at a level comparable to the last of the “Indiana Jones” series. In Japan, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” earned about 4.4 billion yen (about $ 40 million) in film rentals, or about twice that much box office. “Cliffhanger” opened Saturday in 177 theaters across Japan; while this figure is indicative of potential blockbuster status in Japan, “Jurassic Park” opened in over 200. Toho-Towa — and even the Japanese film industry as a whole — has been anxiously awaiting “Cliffhanger’s” opening because a disappointing showing would have verified everyone’s worst fears of current economic conditions. Toho-Towa has pinned its hopes for 1993 on the heavily publicized film. It was the opening screening of the sixth Tokyo Intl. Film Festival in September.
Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!