2008 statistics

Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow at yale.edu
Sun Feb 1 00:39:39 EST 2009

Some of you may have seen this elsewhere, but the Motion Picture  
Producers Association of Japan released their statistics for the film  
industry for 2008.


The results are great for Japanese film, but not so much for cinema  
as a whole. Total box office went down 2.8% to 195 billion yen, with  
attendance declining 2.7% to 160 million. Japanese films clobbered  
foreign films at the box office 59.5% to 40.5%, again taking the lead  
after winning in 2006 and losing in 2007. Japanese film has not had  
that kind of lead since 1970. The box office for Japanese films rose  
22.4% from 2007 to 116 billion yen. The total number of films  
released slightly declined, but the number for Japanese films  
slightly increased. The average ticket price declined by 2 yen (what  
a savings!), while the number of screens continues to increase.

15 Japanese films earned more than 20 billion yen at the BO, the same  
number as 2007 and 2006. Of the top 15 films, 11 were distributed by  
Toho, with Gake no ue no Ponyo, Hana yori dango Final, Yogisha X no  
kenshin, Pocket Monsters, and Aibo being the 5 to top 4 billion (all  
were Toho except for Aibo). The fact that business as a whole is not  
consistently growing, that the average BO per screen continues to  
decline, and that Toho retains its almost monopolistic dominance,  
continue to be signs for concern. Eiren also noted that sales for  
DVDs and videos went down about 10%. One wonders if most businesses  
are really making that much money.

But then again, Japanese cinema's take of 115 billion yen is the  
highest ever. When the shacho of Toho wrote me over the summer, he  
quipped that he hopes the Americans get their act together and become  
more competitive. When not just Ponyo but Hana yori dango beats  
everything Hollywood has to offer, you can understand his confidence.

Any comments?

Aaron Gerow
KineJapan owner

Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University

For list commands, send "information kinejapan" to
listserver at lists.acs.ohio-state.edu
Kinema Club: http://pears.lib.ohio-state.edu/Markus/Welcome.html

More information about the KineJapan mailing list