Japan Box Office: 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' Bows in Third Place With $4.75 Million

Transformers Optimus Prime Sword - H 2014

Transformers Optimus Prime Sword - H 2014

'Maleficent' rides the coattails of 'Frozen' to hit $50 million overall

TOKYO – Transformers: Age of Extinction opened in third place over the weekend, taking $4.75 million (?485 million), behind local animation Stand by Me Doraemon and samurai, sword-fighting sequel Ruroni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno.

Released in Japan (where the robots behind the franchise originated) as Transformer: Lost Age, the Michael Bay global blockbuster pulled in 303,000 admissions from more than 700 screens.

Stand by Me Doraemon, the first of the 17 films in the series to use 3D CG rather than traditional animation, took $7.5 million (?767 million) on 319 screens, fewer than half as many as Paramount secured for Transformers. Doraemon overtook Godzilla last year to become the most watched series in Japanese cinematic history.

Ruroni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, the second in the big-screen manga adaptations directed by Keishi Ohtomo, took its total to $16.6 million (?1.7 billion) after opening at No. 1 last weekend. The first film collected $60 million globally in 2012, with nearly half of that coming from outside Japan, an unusually strong international performance for a local production. The next film in the series is due out Sept. 13.   

Maleficent dropped down one spot to fourth on the weekend rankings but took its total in Japan to $49 million (?5 billion), the best box office for a Hollywood live-action film here in two years. The Angelina Jolie starrer seems to have benefited from being a Disney stablemate of Frozen, which was a phenomenal success in Japan.

When Marnie Was There held on to fifth place for Studio Ghibli, which saw speculation over its future last week following comments by co-founder Toshio Suzuki.  

Elsewhere, Godzilla dropped down to the seventh spot in the third week of release in its spiritual home.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair