TOKYO — “American Sniper” won its second straight weekend at the Japanese box office, earning $2.43 million on 242,428 admissions for the Feb. 28-March 1 period, while pushing its nine-day total over the 1 billion yen ($8.5 million) mark. Although interest in the Middle East and its wars is normally not high among the Japanese public, the recent execution of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State has focused local attention on the region — and the film was a collateral beneficiary.
Ranking at No. 2 in its 11th week was “Big Hero 6,” driving its cumulative total to $73.3 million on 6.96 million admissions, with its recent animated feature Oscar giving it a boost.
Among the new entries, at No. 4, was “Have a Song on Your Lips,” Takahiro Miki’s drama about a school choral club on a remote island, with Yui Aragaki starring as the club’s coach. Bowing on 290 screens, the film earned $691,178 on 72,900 admissions in its opening frame.