Three bits of news

Aaron Gerow gerow
Thu Jan 25 20:33:39 EST 2001

Three bits of news from the morning paper:

1) The MPAA of Japan announced that while the number of theaters rose by 
303 screens to 2524 last year, attendance fell 6.5.% to 135,390,000. Box 
office also fell 6.5% to 170.86 billion yen.

Thus while the number of theaters has grown to its highest level in 27 
years, largely through a boom in cineplex construction, that does not 
seem to be generating greater attendance.  Other countries have 
experienced boosts in theater attendance with the arrival of cineplexes, 
but there are growing doubts there will be the same result in Japan.

2) A court ruled in a case where the free lance cameraman Segawa Hiroshi, 
famed for his work on Woman and Dunes, died of a stroke while on 
location, that his family is not eligible to receive workman's 
compensation insurance because he was not a "worker."  The court ruled 
that to be a worker, Segawa would have to be both a regular employee and 
in a position of being "directed" by the company.  Since Segawa was both 
a freelance worker and a cameraman, whom the court considered a largely 
equal artist in making the film, the court concluded that he had the 
leeway to determine his own work schedule.

3) Universal Studios Japan held a ceremony to commemorate the completion 
of that theme park in Osaka.  The park, a "third sector" company with 
investments from Osaka City, Sumitomo, and others, is scheduled to open 
this spring.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to Toei Uzumasa Eigamura after 
USJ opens.

Aaron Gerow
Yokohama National University
KineJapan list owner
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