Local drama 'Otouto' hopes for boost from Berlin

“Avatar” topped the Japanese B.O. for the weekend of Feb. 13-14, for the eighth week in a row. By Feb. 14 its cume had reached $121 million. Nature docu “Oceans” hung onto the No. 2 spot for the fourth weekend in a row, while the Yoji Yamada drama “Otouto” (Younger Brother) kept its third-place slot for the third straight weekend. The pic’s widely reported closing slot at the Berlin Film Festival could give it a B.O. boost.

Among the openers, “Valentine’s Day,” ranked in highest at No. 4. Japanese enthusiastically celebrate the title holiday, though the chocolates and other presents go from women to men, with the men having to reciprocate on White Day, March 14.

Bowing at No. 5 was the Toei plane-hijack thriller “The Negotiator” with an opening frame of $1.12 million on 83,400 admissions. The pic is expected to finish slightly north of $10 million.

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