Tsunami affects film exhibition in Japan

MUMBAI: The earthquake and tsunami in Japan is definitely going to restrict theatrical box-office collections in the world‘s second-biggest territory this weekend.

The first to be affected is that of Academy Award winner The King‘s Speech and several other Hollywood imports.

The King‘s Speech, being distributed by Gaga Communications, opened in Japan on Feb. 26 and has grossed more than $5.5 million there so far. Last weekend, the best picture Oscar winner nabbed $1.6 million from 124 venues for a per-screen average of $12,915.
Taking a bigger hit will also be Fox‘s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is concluding its successful foreign release grossing more than $294 million internationally with a triumphant Japan run.

Also affected would be the box-office collections of Treader that also opened in the market 25 February raking in about $15.5 million in the last weekend at an impressive $4.1 million from 910 venues.

With the disruption of train service in many locations, it was not immediately clear how many movie theaters will be in operation this weekend in Tokyo -- which sustained a smaller quake after the initial 8.9-magnitude earthquake in northern Japan -- much less in the nation‘s nine key markets and in the territory overall.

Scheduled Japan openings for a couple of animation titles like Disney‘s Tangled and DreamWorks Animation‘s Megamind in 3D from Paramount -- were in suspense. Both were anticipating lucrative payoffs in Japan‘s animation-crazed market.

Japan was the largest foreign market last year for films distributed by the American majors like Fox, Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, Sony and Universal and was second only to the US and Canada as the world‘s largest box-office territory for films of all origination.

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