Friday, April 24, 2009

Natives still beating barbarians into submission

Proof that the so-called 'hoga boom" is still going strong? For the first three months of this year, Japanese films handled by the present 'big four' - Toho, Shochiku, Toei and Kadokawa Pictures - took a 52% share of overall box office income with foreign films mopping up the rest. Although these figures don't quite represent the full picture as other distributors of local films such as Warner and Asmik Ace haven't announced their earnings yet, it still illustrates that domestic product currently has the upper hand and looks set to emulate last year's 59.5%-40.5% revenue split.

Industry types and journos often bemoan the "yoga-banare" syndrome (disinterest in foreign - read Hollywood - films) currently afflicting filmgoers and this week's box office ranking doesn't exactly disprove them either, with the only truly foreign film being the Oscar-winning "Slumdog Millionaire" which managed to open only in fifth (second-placed "Red Cliff Part 2" is heavily backed by entertainment conglomerate Avex, perpetrators of numerous crimes against music).