The Japanese biz escaped the recession that ravaged the larger economy in 2009, if overall numbers told the whole story.
Japanese buyers supply what is still the world's second-largest pic market, especially for non-Hollywood product.
Sony is set to return to profit for the past fiscal year, thanks to a rigorous cost-cutting regime and an uptick in demand.
Net profit rose 40.6% to $27.7 million while operating profit climbed 4.6% to $45.8 million.
In 2009, the Japanese B.O. hit its second-highest total ever, with $2.21 billion -- 5.7% better than 2008. Meanwhile, admissions grew 5.5% year-on to some 170 million.
Underscoring the softening of demand for indie pics in the Japanese market, pioneering arthouse operator Cinema Rise has announced it is closing two of three screens in its Tokyo theater in June.
For the first time in six years, Nintendo has announced drops in earnings and profits.
The Kabuki-za theater, a landmark in Tokyo's Ginza district for nearly six decades, closed its doors for the last time on April 30.
Imax and Japanese exhib Tokyu Recreation are partnering to open five Imax screens in Japan.
In a push to attract younger auds to Hollywood pics, Paramount Japan has taken the unusual step of dubbing nearly half of the prints for current release "Shutter Island."
Domestic Film DAILY
PROVIDED BY: Box Office
Non-Stop1Daily:$1.7M Cumulative:$35.1M Universal Pictures -34.92%
Son of God
Son of God2Daily:$1.3M Cumulative:$30.1M Fox -29.51%
The LEGO Movie
The LEGO Movie3Daily:$974,415 Cumulative:$212.9M Warner Brothers -37.02%