‘Umizaru 2’ soaks competitish

Action pic on course to gross more than $60 million

TOKYO — The sea epic “Umizaru 2: The Test of Trust” cruised past the $40 million mark on its 23rd day on release, while scoring 3.35 million admissions. It is now on track to become the second-highest-earning sequel in Japanese film history, with total gross expected to reach $67 million. The record holder is the cop actioner “Bayside Shakedown 2,” which recorded $156.5 million in 2003.

“Umizaru,” an action pic about elite Japanese Coast Guard divers, grossed $15.5 million in 2004 and became the basis for a hit Fuji TV series. Now the sequel is drawing everyone from the expected young males to oldsters and kids with their parents. “Not only the original film, but the series broadened our target to all ages, including fans who rarely go to the theater,” said a publicist for Toho, which is distribbing the pic on more than 300 screens nationwide.

To celebrate the pic’s success, star Hideaki Ito made a whirlwind four-city tour on May 28, covering 1,367 miles in 11 hours. Ito, who plays a salaryman-turned-diver in both films, greeted fans in Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. In a 40-minute mara-thon, he shook the hands of all 620 fans who turned out for the Tokyo screening.

Web Fuji TV, which also produced the “Bayside Shakedown” films, is reportedly considering another “Umizaru” sequel, but has yet to make an announcement. Meanwhile sales company Pony Canyon is sorting out the many offers, principally from Asia, for “Umizaru 2” following its Cannes market screening.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety