US Distribution of Love Letter

John Dougill dougill
Fri Jan 1 07:19:09 EST 1999

Stephen Cremin writes "By contrast, in Britain it [Hana-Bi] made around
US$300,000, equivalent to "Shall we Dance?.  And both films have featured
prominently in the British media's "best ten films of the year" lists over
the past week."

Strange that Japanese films should be flying so high in the UK whereas
Japanese themselves, especially the young, profess to being turned off by
them according to the Daily Yomiuri this week (Dec. 30, page 3).  According
to the survey 'the younger generation expressed the strongest discontent
with domestic movies.  'Smaller scale' was listed as a source of
dissatisfaction by about 55 percent of repsondents....'lack of planning'
was the condemnation given by 28 percent of those in the their 20s.  There
was strong criticsms of the recent trend toward 'easy' move making, with so
many movies being nothing but spin-offs of television dramas."

Incidentally one of the criteria being cited as a cause of dissatisfaction
was the failure by comparison with 'Titanic' which seems to be advertised
and on sale in virtually every shop you walk into.  I even saw a copy being
advertised in the bookshop Maruzen and asked if they were selling videos,
to which the assistant replied that they were only selling the video of
Titanic because it was special.

Does anyone know if this phenomenom is worldwide, or is Japan witnessing a
case of Titanicmania?  Are there any recent figures for Japan's worldshare
of the takings for the film?

John Dougill

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