'Gravity' Opens at No. 2 in Japan With a $3.6 Million Weekend


Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-nominated space epic continues its strong global performance after a huge opening in China last month, though Hollywood continues to struggle at the Japanese box office.

TOKYO – Gravity debuted at No. 2 at the Japanese box office, taking in $3.6 million (370 million yen) over the weekend from 550 screens.

Released as Zero Gravity in Japan, the Sandra Bullock and George Clooney-starrer, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, benefited from higher prices for 3D and IMAX screenings over the weekend. Distributed locally by Warner Bros. Japan, it was a rare bright spot for Hollywood, with Red 2 propping up the top 10 from the bottom, the only other non-Japanese production in the rankings.

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Gravity, which is gathering Oscar buzz, passed the half a billion dollar mark globally last month, following a stellar opening in China.

The No. 1 spot was held for a second weekend by Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie (Lupin Sansei Vāsasu Meitantei Conan the Movie), the combination of the two anime and manga heroes pulling in another 400,000 admissions on Saturday and Sunday, for a cumulative total of $13.5 million (1.4 billion yen).

After bowing at a disappointing sixth ranking last week, 47 Ronin disappeared from the top 10 in a market where the producers were hoping the Japanese themes would give it some pulling power. The mangling of one of Japan's classic historical tales with the introduction of dragons, magic and a half-foreign character (Keanu Reeves) hasn't gone down well with local audiences, either.

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Captain Phillips dropped out of the top 10 in its third week of release, having peaked at No. 5, despite opening this year's Tokyo International Film Festival in October, with Tom Hanks and director Paul Greengrass in attendance and some heavy promotion from Sony.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair