'Maleficent' Opens at No. 1 in Japan, Ends 'Frozen's' Record Run

TOKYO – Maleficent bowed at number one with a $6.8 million (¥691 million) weekend, finally toppling its Disney stable-mate Frozen from its record-breaking 16 weeks atop the rankings. Edge of Tomorrow opened in second, with a solid $2.54 million (¥691 million).

It's shaping up to be a stunning year for Walt Disney Studios Japan, with Maleficent delivering another chart-topping week for the company, as the Angelina Jolie-starrer set a batch of its own records following the massive success of Frozen.

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Maleficent pulled in more than half a million admissions from 643 screens, registering the biggest opening for a live-action film this year, and the best opening for an imported live actioner since Les Miserables in 2012. Robert Stromberg's interpretation of the Sleeping Beauty villain also has given Jolie her biggest ever opening in Japan.

Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow — released locally as All You Need Is Kill, the title of the novella by Hiroshi Sakurazaka on which it is based — logged 172,000 admissions from 632 screens. The critically well-received adaptation of Sakurazaka's 2004 book should do good business with its Japanese connection and the presence of Tom Cruise, one of Hollywood's few remaining consistently bankable stars with local audiences.

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Frozen finally dropped down to third place in its 17th week of release, adding another $1.79 million (¥182 million) Saturday and Sunday to take its total to $241 million (¥24.6 billion).

The movie has another 10 days — until its Blu-ray and video-on-demand release — to hit the quarter of a billion dollar mark in Japan.  

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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