Japan Box Office: 'The Martian' Powers to $5.2M Opening
Elsewhere, 'Star Wars: 'The Force Awakens' has earned $91.4 million after eight weekends in Japan, its dollar total boosted by a stronger yen.
Ridley Scott's The Martian topped the weekend box-office chart in Japan with a $5.2 million opening, including Friday grosses, from 833 screens, helping to boost its worldwide total north of $600 million.
Its Saturday and Sunday take was $4.25 million (￥496 million).
The Matt Damon-starring space drama, released in Japan as Odyssey, enjoyed a 60 percent bigger bow than Gravity, which went on to take more than $30 million in the local market. Big hits in Japan can go on to finish with 10 times their opening weekend takes, considerably higher multiples than most other major markets.
The Martian unseated time-travel samurai film Nobunaga Concerto, which had spent two weeks at number one and took another $3.4 million (￥394 million) on the weekend to bring its total to $21 million (￥2.5 billion).
Saraba Abunai Deka: Long Goodbye, the final installment in a long-running TV and film detective franchise, fell one spot to third place.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens also dropped one spot, to fourth place on the rankings, pulling in another $1.45 million on Saturday and Sunday, taking its total in Japan to $91.4 million (￥10.5 billion) after eight weekends in theaters. It's takings in dollar terms have been boosted by a strengthening yen.
Even though The Force Awakens has become the biggest hit in Japan since Frozen, it looks set to finish short of $100 million, failing to match the performance of Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which took $109 million here in 1999.
Further down the chart, Scott Cooper's Black Mass dropped four spots to eighth on its second weekend in theaters.
Academy Award-nominated Carol will get a jump on the competition next weekend with an opening Thursday, the National Foundation Day holiday, while the Steve Jobs biopic will bow Friday.