Confidential to: David Kaminow, Debbie McCurry, Abe Recio Sony Pictures


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To: David Kaminow, Debbie McCurry, Abe Recio

Sony Pictures

From: Neil Harrison, Sean Steele, Juley Remily, Chloe Wild, Henry Piney, Tracy Powell, Stuart Grant

Subject: Summary of Japan Tracking: 17 March – 23 March 2008

Date: 24 March 2008

Japan - Market Overview



OPENING THIS WEEK (29 March 2008):



The top five remained unchanged last weekend, with Doraemon 2008 (Toho) and Enchanted (Disney) taking first and second place, respectively ($2.3m and $2.2m, respectively). Elsewhere in Japan, school holidays started last weekend, with students on vacation until the beginning of April.

This weekend sees the release of Kung Fu Kun (Kadokawa), which looks unlikely to challenge for a place in the top three at this stage:

  • Although total awareness reaches average levels (30% vs. 29% norm), the remaining measures all fall below norm (3% unaided awareness, 2% “definite” interest and 1% first choice). “Definite” interest among the core audience for this teen movie stands at a modest 5% (norm is 12%).

  • Also releasing this weekend, Things We Lost In The Fire (PPI) has limited awareness at this stage (5%).


OPENING NEXT WEEK (5 April 2008):

  • Leading the week, a third (34%) of Japanese cinemagoers are familiar with Oscar nominee Mongol (Toei), peaking among older females (46%). While 2% make the movie their first choice (all films on tracking), “definite” interest in the historical epic remains below norm (6% vs. 12% norm).

  • Familiarity with blog adaptation Bokutachi To Chuzai-San No 700 Nichi Senso (Gaga) reaches norm (23% vs. 24% norm), with younger females the most enthusiastic (15% “definite” interest vs. 4%-5% among the remaining segments).

  • Awareness of school drama Utatama (Nikkatsu) currently skews female (18% vs. 11% among males), with “definite” interest peaking among younger females (8%).
  • One in ten (9%) have heard of Cloverfield (PPI), led by males (12% vs. 6% among females). While awareness falls below norm, “definite” interest reaches solid levels (17%), particularly among younger males (24%), with 2% first choice among this group.


  • Half (49%) are familiar with the latest installment in the Detective Conan franchise, Detective Conan 2008 (Toho), three weeks out, with all measures skewing towards the under 25s (9% unaided, 56% total awareness, 20% “definite” interest and 9% first choice). The previous film released in 2007 took $3.8m on its opening weekend:

    • Also releasing on 19 April, kids’ animation Kureyon Shin Chan 2008 (Toho) continues to register good levels of awareness (37%), but “definite” interest and first choice remain limited in comparison to Detective Conan (5% “definite” interest and 2% first choice). The last installment in the franchise took $2.9m on its opening weekend in 2006.

    • Fellow release, TV adaptation Ginmaku Ban Sushi Ouji (WB) has made further progress in the last week to reach 47% awareness, with interest peaking among younger females (8%).

  • Leading the Golden Week releases on 26 April, is Shourin Shojo (Toho), with 43% awareness and 2% first choice.

  • Five weeks pre-release, Aibou The Movie (Toei), adapted from a well know police TV drama, continues to track well, with first choice at 7%.
  • Re-entering tracking eight weeks out is Disney’s The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which already registers 8% first choice and 56% awareness. Releasing the same weekend is Rambo (Gaga), which is tracking well among older males (47% awareness, 11% “definite” interest and 7% first choice).

  • Teen school drama Boys Over Flowers (Toho) registers 70% awareness among its younger female audience, with a very strong 28% “definite” interest among this group.

Wenny Has Wings

Opening week



April 26

  • There have been some good gains in awareness this week, particularly among females, to reach average levels overall.

  • Total awareness is up to 16% (was 11%), rising to 22% among females (up +9% points). The film now also registers some top of mind recall among females (1%). Awareness among parents is consistent with the general sample (18%).

  • “Definite” interest has held at similar levels (6%), with parents at 8%, while 2% of older females make the movie their first choice.
  • Also opening during Golden Week, kids/teens Shaolin Soccer spin-off Shourin Shojo currently leads the pack with 43% awareness and 2% first choice. At lower levels, manga adaptation Sands’ Chronicle and The Spiderwick Chronicles (22% and 6% awareness, respectively), may also provide some competition for the family audience.

  • Releasing the previous week, Detective Conan 2008 and Kureyon Shin Chan 2008 could provide some stiff holdover competition among kids / teens. The next instalment in the Detective Conan franchise registers 9% first choice among the younger quads, while Kureyon Shin Chan 2008 is currently at lower levels (2%) across this general sample. The previous films in both franchises took $3.9m and $2.8m, respectively.

Non-English language title information



movie based on the popular Japanese police drama TV show.
Ano Sora wo Oboeteru (WENNY HAS WINGS)

This film is an adaptation of an American children’s novel, "Wenny Has Wings", by Janet Lee Carey. The story is about Will North, 11, who survives a car accident in which his little sister was killed. While still in the emergency room, he sees her flying free and happy in the sky, but returns to his body after seeing his parents' grief. He cannot speak to them about his survivor's guilt, his anger at his sister for dying, or his near-death experience. His father in particular has great difficulty in coping with his loss, eventually leaving the family in order to sort things out. Mr. James, a church youth leader, gives Will a notebook in which to write his feelings and the boy decides to write letters to Wenny, telling her what is going on.

BOKUTACHI TO CHUZAI-SAN NO 700 NICHI SENSO (Us Versus The Police : 700 Day War)

This comedy-action movie has been adapted from a popular blog. The blog, which has been active since March 2006, chronicles a gang of bratty high schoolers who wages a war of practical jokes and pranks on the local policeman (Chuzai-san), mixing truth and fiction. The blog has received more than 5 million hits since its conception. The blog has also been released in book form, by Koryosha Books. Renpei Tsukamoto, famous for One Missed Call 2, will direct.


Animated sequel to the 2007 Detective Conan movie and 12th installment of the popular manga and animae series, following the adventures of Conan and his gang. A series of murders have taken place and all the victims are from a Music School led by a famous pianist. Conan and company have been invited to an opening concert of the Music Hall built by the pianist.


Doraemon is a Japanese manga series about a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, Nobita Nobi. The first Doraemon movie was released in 1980.


A genius sushi chef goes to New York to perfect his sushi-rice making skills and to face-off against the local competition.

HANA YORI DANGO (Boys over Flowers)

Live action movie based on shojo manga series (Boys Over Flowers) aimed at high school girls. Tsukushi Makino, a working-class girl, attends an elite school called Eitoku Academy, populated by children from rich, high-society families. She is the weed of the school surrounded by all the rich kids including the "Flower" Four (F4). The F4 leader and son of the wealthiest, most powerful family in Japan, Tsukasa Domyoji, takes an interest in Tsukushi, because she is the only girl at Eitoku who doesn't fawn over him.


Remake of the 1958 classic.


The continuing animated adventures of Shin-chan, a 6-year-old growing up in Tokyo. He’s a combination of Dennis The Menace and Howard Stern and his foul mouth and rude behavior constantly scandalize his parents.


Kung Fu Kun is about a child Shaolin Master that travels to Japan as part of his training


Based on drama TV series (and originally a manga) about Kurosaki, a young man whose family was destroyed by swindlers. Despite that, Kurosaki grows up to become a con artist known as Kurosagi. As Kurosagi, he swindles other con artists and returns the money to the original victim. He works with the master swindler Katsuragi Toshio even though Toshio had a hand in the destruction of Kurosaki’s family.


Sequel 2007’s Masked Rider Den-O movie, and part of the ongoing Manga adaptation of the popular Kamen Rider franchise and TV series.


The story is inspired by author Shinmon Aoki's "Coffinman," the tale of a man coming to grips with his new job of preparing bodies for coffins.

Paco and the magic picture book

A young girl named Pako becomes hospitalized with some kind of brain damage after she and her parents are in a traffic accident and they're killed. Suffering from problems with her memory, she's only able to remember things for a day.

As a result she becomes obsessed with a picture book that she likes to look at while sitting on a bench... and some sort of insanity ensues.


This film is about the depth of family ties and how people are connected by letters. A postman, named Ryuhei, is living in a small town near the ocean, which he loves. He lost his wife two years ago and lives with his two children Ayumi Teppei. Ayumi tells Ryuhei that she wants to enter a boarding high school. However, Ryuhei objects as he is a family man who believes that the family should stay together. Ayumi’s grandmother decides to shows Ayumi a bunch of letters between Ryuhei and Ayumi’s mother spanning 16 years from when they were in elementary school to before they got married. From these, Ayumi understands how much Ryuhei loves her mother and how proud he is of his postman’s job.


Musician and actress Nao Matsushita stars in this live-action film of Suna-dokei (Sand Chronicles), which is adapted from the 2003-2005 shōjo manga (manga for girls). The story recounts the "pure love" between two friends as they grow from 12 to 26 years old. The ten-volume manga has sold 5.7 million copies and was made into a hit television drama series.


Shaolin Girl (or Shorin Shojo) is produced by Shoalin Soccer director Stephen Chow (who also directed Kung Fu Hustle) and stars Shibasaki Ko who plays a girl returning to Japan after undergoing nine years of training in order to take over her grandfather’s Shaolin kung-fu dojo in China and ends up helping out a sport science university’s lacrosse team. Chow regulars Lam Tze Chung and Kai Man Tin are lined up to appear.


Takeshi Kaneshiro (House Of Flying Daggers) plays a Grim Reaper who appears to his victims in human form and spends a week with them before deciding whether to off them or not.


School choir leader a school choir Kasumi is upset when the cool class president takes some pictures of her singing and teases her for looking like a spawning salmon. She thinks about giving up the choir until the leader of a gang of choral thugs persuades her that it doesn’t matter what she looks like as long as she keeps singing.
Yama No Anata

2008 Japanese movie directed by Katsuhito Ishii. It is a remake of the 1938 film Anma to Onna which was about a romance between a blind masseur and a beautiful woman.

SONY – International Tracking © COPYRIGHT NIELSEN NRG 2008 24 March 2008


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