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Rock the charts: Japan's box office numbers 6/19 - 6/25

12:00 PM on 06.24.2010 // Mike LeChevallier

Welcome again to another edition of Rock the Charts, the column where I inform you how poorly the Japanese cinema is performing economically. Of course, I always spotlight a couple of the new films to appear on the rankings each week and throw some trailers in the mix for good measure. This is how I demonstrate my appreciation for anyone who hits the jump link. Whoever you people are, I thank you. Much respect.

The straight up numbers this week would usually nearly make me weep, but ever since I took over this feature I've witnessed the steady decline of the box office haul-in leading up into summer, so it doesn't have a grinding emotional damper upon me. Compare this week's $12 million overall cashflow to the $110 million opening weekend Toy Story 3 (which is absolutely amazing, by the way) had in the U.S. I wonder how Toy Story 3 will end up faring in Japan. It's known that Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki are a massive influence on the Pixar team. Totoro even shows up to give Woody a helping hand.

Chart time is now, extra special secret time is on deck.

1. Confessions. 3rd week, pulling in $3.1 million.
2. Masker Rider Den-O Trilogy the Movie: Episode Yellow. 1st week, pulling in $2.2 million.
3. Iron Man 2. 2nd week, pulling in $1.6 million.
4. Sex and the City 2. 3rd week, pulling in $1.2 million.
5. The Book of Eli. 1st week, pulling in $1 million.
. Outrage. 2nd week, pulling in $887k.
7. Alice in Wonderland. 10th week, pulling in $790k
8. Flowers. 2nd week, pulling in $467k.
9. Piecing Me Back Together. 1st week, pulling in $460k.
10. A Lone Scalpel. 3rd week, pulling in $377k.

It's really great to see Confessions (which I focused on the week it debuted) still topping the chart. I finally got a chance to check it out, and I think it's a pretty solid film. There are some scenes that feel a tad inappropriate within the darker context of the movie (particularly all that ensemble dancing business), but the conclusion quenches my cravings for something in the same vein as Kamikaze Girls to the point where I'm able to overlook some lesser flaws.

Takeshi Kitano's Outrage (raved about here) dropped a couple spots from 4 to 6, but I'm just glad to see it making some money in general. If you have the opportunity to see it, and you're a fan of Kitano's work or just high-quality yakuza pictures, I would suggest that you not allow said opportunity to slip away. Kitano doesn't need your money, though. Truly.

Two films this week stand out to me as worthy of the RtC double-feature pedestal. The first one, if you've read my past few Charts columns, should come as no surprise. The Den-O Trilogy reaches its climax with Episode Yellow, and the film actually made a pretty decent profit in its primary showing. I got a kick out of both Episode Red and Episode Blue, so I'm eager to see how the trinity wraps up.

Well now, it looks like Masaki Okada may be starting to own the drama scene these days. He stars in the winning Confessions, and now he has another film making an appearance on the chart just three weeks after Confessions hit the market. Okada stars in Piecing Me Back Together (coming in 9th place in the stats) alongside select waifu Keiko Kitagawa. Watching the trailer, at first it seems as if Piecing plays out to be a genuinely cookie-cutter romance tale, but then it takes a bit of a sudden, grim twist. Don't you hate it when trailers show main characters dying? Yeah. Me too.

 Man. Tandem motor-scooter rides sure are dangerous.

Mike LeChevallier,
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