Audience heavily weighted towards kids

TOKYO — “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” debuted at No. 2 at the Japanese box office for the weekend of Aug. 16-17, bettering the bow of “The Dark Knight.”

 The Rob Cohen-helmed pic, third in the “Mummy” series, made $7 million including $1.6 million in sneaks. This compares with $3 million for “The Dark Knight” in Japan.

The aud was heavily weighted towards kids, with a third of the prints being dubbed.

 Distrib Toho-Towa expects “Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” to do as well as 2001’s “The Mummy Returns,” which made $27.3 million. “The Mummy” notched up $29 million here in 1999.

Hayao Miyazaki’s toon “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” topped the weekend B.O. for the fifth week. By Aug. 17, its 30th day on release, the toon had earned $90 million on 8.3 million admissions and now looks likely to finish near the $150 million mark.

This would make it Miyazaki’s fourth-highest grossing toon after “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “The Princess Mononoke” and the fifth-highest earning Japanese pic of all time.

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