Pitt golden at Japan B.O.

TOKYO — As Japan heads into one of its big holiday weeks, Brad Pitt films are dominating the box office. “Sleepers” and “The Devil’s Own” occupied the two top spots last week and are expected to be among the leading films for Japan’s Golden Week holiday season.

Golden Week, a series of national holidays in late April and early May, is one of the three major peaks for the Japanese movie industry. The other two are the mid-August summer holidays and New Year’s vacation.

While openings for the week include “The English Patient” and “Space Jam,” Ralph Fiennes, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny may be taking a back seat to Hollywood heartthrobs Pitt and Leonard DiCaprio during Golden Week. The DiCaprio starrer “William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet” is expected to be among the top finishers, along with the Pitt films.

Toshiko Kondo of 20th Century Fox in Japan said the two actors have star power in the Japanese market. “Brad Pitt’s appeal in Japan is pretty much the same as in the U.S. Japanese women like him because he is sexy while being a little bit scary.”

Kondo said that at the opening of “Romeo & Juliet,” the theaters were filled with schoolgirls in their uniforms who cut classes to see the movie on opening day. “DiCaprio has a baby face and teenage girls here love him,” Kondo said.

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