Japan Box Office: 'Big Hero 6' Opens Big But Loses to Local Anime

Disney/Screengrab
Disney's 'Big Hero 6,' which is being released as 'Baymax' in Japan

The latest Disney release earns $5.4 million in its opening weekend, capping a huge year for the studio in Japan

Big Hero 6 earned $5.4 million (¥642 million) at the Japanese box office in its opening weekend, putting the Disney film in second place behind local anime Yokai Watch, the big-screen version of the successful multiplatform franchise, which scored a huge $13.6 million (¥1.6 billion) two-day bow.

After the huge success in Japan of Frozen and Maleficent, the Japanese-flavored storyline of Big Hero 6 and the film opening the Tokyo International Film Festival with its world premiere, Disney is bound to have high expectations for Big Hero 6's Japan release for which the film is titled Baymax.

Read more Global Box Office: Final 'Hobbit' Film Races Past $350 Million

Yokai Watch, meanwhile, is the biggest multimedia franchise in Japan since Pocket Monsters. After the launch of the first video games on the Nintendo 3DS portable console in the summer of 2013, the manga comics, TV anime series and merchandise have become wildly popular among Japanese children.

Yokai Watch pulled in more than double the take of Big Hero 6 despite opening on 408 screens, compared to 540 for the Disney film.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies fell to the fifth spot after its box-office-topping opening last weekend.

Farther down the chart, David Fincher's Gone Girl held on to seventh place on its second weekend in theaters.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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