Ring and Isola

Mark Schilling schill
Mon Jan 31 10:18:51 EST 2000

Stephen said "Ring and Isola don't seem to be doing so well." Here are the
numbers for the most recent seven-day period (Jan 22-28), supplied by Kogyo

1. (2) Shuri (Jap) Cine Quanon/Amuse 1. Y110,357,300 ($1,041,107). 16. 
$65,069. --. $1,041,107  
2. (1) End of Days (US) Toho Towa. 5. Y90,816,500 ($856,759). 22. $38,944.
-20.0%. $9,037,083
3. (--) Ring O/Isola (Jap). 1. Y85,904,400. ($810,419). 13. $62,340. --.
4. (--) When the Rain Lifts (Jap) 1. Y81,406,000. ($767,981). 12.
$63,998. $767,981. 

The numbers are for the nine major cities, with the first being weekly
gross (yen total first, dollar total in paratheses), the second, screen
average and the third, total gross. The Ring O and Isola double bill has
quite a respectable screen average for a series that is going to the well
for a third time ($62,340 at an exchange rate of $1=Y106). The real
surprise for me, though, is When the Rain Lifts, which seems to be riding
on a tide of sentiment for its screenwriter, Kurosawa Akira. The film got
generally mediocre reviews (mine included) and if Kurosawa had directed it
himself, it might well have suffered the same fate as Madadayo and Rhapsody
in August. 

Shuri, of course, has been massively hyped in the Japanese press since it
smashed the Korean BO record last year. Even it is performing more strongly
than I would have expected. One reason -- a terrific trailer, far better
than those for most Japanese commercial releases. 

It also heartening that three of the top four films are Asian -- a
one-in-blue-moon occurence since I started tracking the Japanese box office
in 1989.  

Mark Schilling (schill at gol.com)

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