'World War Z' Opens at No. 2 in Japan With Hayao Miyazaki Film Still on Top

Paramount Pictures
"World War Z"

"Monsters University" holds on to the third spot in its sixth weekend on the box office charts.

TOKYO – World War Z bowed to a $3.4 million (330 million yen) weekend in Japan, with nearly 240,000 admissions from 644 screens, but it couldn’t knock anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises off its perch.  

Brad Pitt attended the Japan premiere with Angelina Jolie at the end of last month, his first visit to Tokyo since he came in 2011 to promote Moneyball, which he also starred in and co-produced. Pitt garnered a lot of good press for being the first Hollywood A-lister to visit Japan after the March 2011 tsunami and nuclear disasters.  

STORY: Box Office Milestone: 'World War Z' Becomes Brad Pitt's Top-Grossing Film

The Wind Rises has now held the No. 1 spot for four weekends, pulling in $58 million (5.6 billion yen) from 4.5 million admissions. The tale based on the life of the designer of the Zero fighter plane looks set, like nearly every release from Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli production house, to be the box office king for the year, with Monsters University making a solid case for second place.

STORY: Japan Smashes Tweets Per Second World Record During Broadcast of Hayao Miyazaki Movie

Despite heavy promotion featuring Japanese child star Mana Ashida and a Japan-friendly plot of giant robots and monsters, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim opened in sixth place, with $2.9 million (281 million yen) from 596 screens. The Lone Ranger dropped one spot to fifth on its second weekend.

Emperor (Shusen no Emperor), a U.S.-Japan co-production starring Tommy Lee Jones about America’s post-war occupation of Japan, fell to tenth on its third weekend. 

Twitter: @GavinJBlair