Japan’s summer box office fell sharply compared with last year, when local pics powered admissions, but Hollywood pics have continued to perform well.
July B.O. totaled ¥12.659 billion ($112 million), down 24.4% drop from $148 million in July 2006. Admissions fell 19.6% year on year, according to the survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
B.O takings for May and June were down by 7.1% and 13.5%, respectively. Admissions for the three-month period slid 18.2%.
The poor showing by local pics was the main reason for the sorry numbers, with Japanese product suffering a 41.4% B.O. plunge in July vs. last year.
No Japanese summer pic could match the stupendous perfs of last year’s July releases “Tales From Earthsea” ($67.7 million total) and “Sinking of Japan” ($42.2 million). The May live-action release “Umizaru 2: Test of Trust” also raked in the yen last year, finishing with $62.8 million.
Foreign pics recorded only a 3.2% year-on-year drop in July, buoyed by strong numbers from “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”
Among Japanese movies in July, toons performed best, with the genre finishing only 11.2% behind last year. The leader was the 10th “Pokemon” feature, which is closing in on $44.2 million following its July release.