Pia poll includes just one Hollywood film

TOKYO – Japanese pics have claimed nine of ten slots in Pia magazine’s annual aud satisfaction poll results, the mag announced on Tuesday.

The poll, conducted weekly by Pia, Tokyo’s leading entertainment listings mag, asks auds to rate pics they have just seen for story, characters, music, perfs and visuals, with the top total score being 100. Last year, the pic to garner the highest overall rating was the comedy “Kisarazu Cats Eye — World Series,” with a 94.8 rating. This was the third highest score in the history of the ratings, after “Star Wars Episode 3” and “Lords of the Rings: Return of the King.”

The second of two pics based on a cult hit series on the Fuji TV web, “Kisarazu” was followed in the top five by the Koki Mitani ensemble comedy “Suite Dreams,” the Sang-il Lee dramedy “Hula Girls,” the sea actioner “Umizaru 2: Test of Trust” and the latest installment in the “Detective Conan” toon series.

The only Hollywood pic to make the top ten, at number eight, was “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” with a 91.1 score.

In 2006 Japanese pics grabbed a majority market share for the first time in 21 years. Also, six local pics passed the five billion yen ($42 million) mark, compared with five from Hollywood, led by “Pirates.”

Some industry observers have called the Japanese pics boom a bubble, driven more by the promotional power of the major webs that underwrite many hit pics than the quality of the pics themselves. Pia’s poll, however, indicates that local auds like what they’re seeing — and may well come back for more in 2007.

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