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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies topped the Japanese box office on its bow, taking $2.42 million (?287 million) from 195,000 admissions on 640 screens, slightly below The Desolation of Smaug‘s opening, but about a third higher than that of An Unexpected Journey.
The box office for the final installment of Peter Jackson‘s Middle-earth adventures was boosted by 3D and Imax screenings, putting it ahead of local live-action manga adaptation Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride), which scored more admissions with 215,000. Local box-office rankings are based on admissions, putting Blue Spring Ride on top despite its lower gross of $2.05 million (?243 million).
Local anime The Last Naruto — The Movie, which topped last weekend’s box office, dropped to third place as its total hit $8.4 million (?1 billion).
The latest in the Masked Rider (Kamen Rider) series opened in the fourth spot with $1.73 million (?204 million) from 167,000 admissions at 307 screens.
David Fincher‘s Gone Girl opened with $1.3 million (?153 million) from 119,000 admissions at 321 screens to put it in seventh on a busy weekend after a dismally quiet November at theaters.
Next weekend will see Big Hero 6 (released locally as Baymax) open after premiering at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October and is expected to add to what has already been a stellar year for Disney in Japan with the success of Frozen and Maleficent.
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