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Japan Box Office Climbs 8% in 2016 Boosted by Local Hits

Japan’s theatrical box office grew by 8% in 2016. It hit $2.08 billion (JPY236 billion,) according to new data from the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (Eiren.)

The country is the world’s third largest theatrical market, behind the $11 billion of North America and $6.6 billion of China.

The 2016 score was boosted by a succession of local hits including “Your Name” and “Shin Godzilla.” It compared with JPY217 billion in 2015, reported as $1.84 billion. The previous highest year was 2010 when “Avatar” was the top release.

Theatrical admissions for the year were 180 million, the highest attendance figure since 1974. In 2015 they were 167 million.

The number one film at the 2016 box office was “Your Name,” which has also set a record for the top-earning Japanese film ever internationally, with $290 million at last count. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with $102.5 million was the second ranked film of the year and the top scoring Hollywood movie. In third was Japan’s “Shin Godzilla” with $72 million.

Japanese films increased their market share to 63.1%, up from 55% in 2015. This was the strongest showing for the home team since 1969, when local titles grabbed 64%. The total number of films released last year, 1,149, was marginally higher than the 1,136 total in 2015, as was the total number of local films, at 610, compared with 581 the previous year. Screen count grew to 3,472, from 3,437 in 2015.

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