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, Tracy Powell, Stuart Grant, Kathleen Sauve, Sarah McDonnell

Subject: Summary of Japan Tracking: 10 November 2008 – 16 November 2008

Date: 17 November 2008

Japan - Market Overview



OPENING THIS WEEK (22 November 2008):



tropic thunder

watashi wa…

Red Cliff (Toho Towa) held onto its top position for the third week running at the Japanese box office over the weekend, with Happy Flight (Toho) debuting at number two.

This week, Toho’s WWII drama Watashi Wa Kaini Naritai (a TV series adaptation and a remake of a 1959 film) dominates the week and is likely to challenge Red Cliff for the number one spot, while the remaining three openers are unlikely to make much of an impact:

  • Around one-in-five (19%) name the film unaided and over three-quarters (78%) are aware overall, skewing female, especially to older females (26% unaided and 88% total).

  • Among those aware, “definite” interest is at an average level (9%, norm is 10%), while first choice is well above the norm (at 11%, rising to 16% among older females vs. 4% norm).

  • 1408 (Movie Eye), Blindness (Gaga) and Tropic Thunder (Paramount) all have below average awareness levels (2%-3% unaided and 10%-13% total awareness), but Tropic Thunder (Paramount) and 1408 do register above average “definite” interest levels among those aware (14%-15%, respectively).


OPENING NEXT WEEK (29 November 2008):

  • Saw V (Asmik Ace) leads the following week’s openers with key measures around norm, while the other two openers are tracking below average.

    • 2% of Japanese moviegoers name Saw V unaided and 25% are aware overall (norms are 3% and 21%, respectively), skewing to 18-24 year olds (4% unaided and 36% total).

    • A normative 11% are “definitely” interested in seeing this fifth installment in the franchise, rising to 19% among younger males.

    • 3% pick it as their first choice (norm is 2%), peaking at 5% among 18-24 year olds.

    • To note, Saw IV took US$0.8m on its opening weekend last November.


  • All three titles opening in two weeks continue to improve their awareness levels, with WB’s disaster movie 252 Seizonsha Ari [252 Survivors] and Disney’s Wall-E remaining the most top-of-mind (at 7% unaided), while Wall-E leads the interest measures.

    • An equal 46% are familiar with 252 Seizonsha Ari (was 38%) and Shochiku’s Tadano Hitoshi (was 43%), followed by 36% for Wall-E (was 29%).
    • “Definite” interest is highest for Wall-E (15%) compared to 252 Seizonsha Ari’s 10% and just 5% for Tadano Hitoshi.

    • Wall-E currently registers 5% first choice, a touch ahead of 252 Seizonsha Ari (4%) and Tadano Hitoshi (3%).

    • Looking at the Likely Attendee profile of these three films, both 252 and Wall-E skew towards older females, while in contrast Tadano Hitoshi skews male (especially to younger males).

  • Of the titles releasing in four weeks, Toho’s K-20 Kaijin Nijumenso Den (K-20 Legend Of The Mask) has seen the biggest gains in awareness (unaided up 2% points to 3%, and total up 6% points to 28%), to edge ahead of Fox’s The Day The Earth Stood Still (22% total), but the Keanu Reeves sci-fi remake continues to lead in terms of the interest measures (17% “definite” interest and 3% first choice).

  • Returning to tracking eight weeks out, Toho’s Pandemic has doubled its awareness level since the four month read (from 16% to 32%), and it is named unaided by 4% of younger females at this early stage. Among those aware, 12% are “definitely” interested in seeing it (rising to 18% among younger females), and 3% pick it as their first choice (skewing to the younger quads).
  • Fox’s live-action manga and anime adaptation Dragonball and Paramount’s animated sequel Madagascar 2 both get an early read four months out, with more moviegoers aware of the former title (37%) than the latter (15%). “Definite” interest is relatively soft at this stage for both titles (6% for Dragonball and 8% for Madagascar).


Opening week



27 November

  • One week out, awareness of D-Wars is limited (5% total awareness), highest among 45-54 year olds (at 8%).

  • The film does not register any first choice at this stage, while its fellow release Saw V leads the week with 3% first choice.

D-Wars poster in a cinema foyer

Non-English language title information



A few weeks after a gigantic earthquake struck Tokyo is slowly beginning to function again. But the temperature of the Pacific Ocean suddenly increases after the earthquake, causing a tremendous typhoon which towards Tokyo with devastating force. The Tokyo Fire Department dispatches its elite rescue unit, Hyper Rescue, and their sonar picks up a signal from underwater. Beneath the ground, in one devastated subway station, there is someone sending out a code which is known to rescuers only… “252… 252…” – “We have survivors!” Somebody who knows the rescue protocol is trapped underground! The rescuers, the survivors and their families all pray for their loved ones' safe return. In the extreme situation, a rescue party tries to save the survivors at the risk of their own lives.


"Akai Ito," one of the best-selling books of last year and has been adapted into a drama series (Fuji TV) and film (Shochiku). Like "Koizora," it started out as a mobile phone novel and quickly gained in popularity, pushing it into the top 20 of Tohan's 2007 rankings. So far, the 5 volumes of the story have sold 1.8 million copies. The story revolves around two middle schoolers, Mei and Atsushi, who together face various obstacles, such as drugs, rape, and suicide.

BLEACH: THE MOVIE 2008 (Bleach: Fade to Black)

The third film in the Bleach anime series. According to the official website, the plot involves Soul Society members being struck with amnesia causing them to be hostile towards main characters Ichigo and Rukia.


Based on the Korean legend, unknown creatures will return and devastate the planet. Reporter Ethan Kendrick is called in to investigate the matter, and he arrives at the conclusion that a girl, stricken with a mysterious illness, named Sarah is suppose to help him. The Imoogi makes its way to Los Angeles, wreaking havoc and destruction. With the entire city under arms, will Ethan and Sarah make it in time to save the people of Los Angeles?


Live action film adaptation of the Dragon Ball franchise (manga and anime) and is produced by Stephen Chow. A young boy named Goku seeks out upon his grandfather's dying request to find the great Master Roshi and gather all seven Dragon Balls (of which he has one) in order to prevent Piccolo from succeeding in his desire to use the Dragon Balls to take over the world.

GEgege no kitarou animated movie

Animated version of the popular manga series, created in 1959 by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. It is best known for its popularization of the folklore creatures known as yōkai, a class of spirit-monster to which all of the main characters belong.


“GS Wonderland" is about the 1960's Group Sounds bands - A Japanese pop movement inspired by the Beatles and other mid-1960's Brit Pop.


Handsome Suit revolves around a magical suit that makes its wearer more attractive.


A comedy set in the airline industry. The story centers on a flight from Japan to Honolulu and deals with a variety of characters, such as a scatterbrained cabin attendant, a scary instructor, and a young mechanic.

K-20 Kaijin Nijumenso Den (K-20 LEGEND OF THE MASK)

The story is set in 1949 in the fictional capital city of Teito, where aristocrats monopolize most of the wealth. K-20, a mysterious man with the ability to change his appearance frequently targets the rich for his theft. One day he manages to trick police into thinking a circus acrobat named Heikichi Endo (Takeshi Kaneshiro) is the real criminal, leaving it up to Endo to escape jail and prove his innocence.

Kanna-san, Daiseikou Desu! (Kanna’s Big success!)

Based on the same Japanese comic as 200 Pounds Beauty. While 200 Pounds Beauty was a romantic comedy, this version will focus more on Kanna's relationship with her friend Kabako.

Love Fight

Starring Kento Hayashi & Kie Kitano, two young hopes of Japanese cinema. The film depicts the clumsy and troubled first love of childhood. Takao Osawa, a famous Japanese actor's first film as a producer.

Maboroshi no Yamataikoku

Maboroshi no Yamataikoku is based on a 1967 Kohei Miyazaki best-selling novel and directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi. Yamataikoku was an ancient country within Japan during the late Yayoi period. The historical film centers around a couple who are searching for this country even though the husband is blind.


Follows the story of Goro, the son of a major league baseball player, who dreams of hitting the big time himself.


It's A.D. 208 China. Rival states Shu and Wu join hands against their common enemy, the evil and ambitious General Cao Cao of the Wei kingdom, but are seriously outnumbered by his million-strong army. But with the charismatic leadership of Gen. Zhou Yu the perfect strategy of scholar Zhuge Liang and the support of Emperor Sun Quan they manage to declare a small victory. While Cao Cao scoffs at this as no big deal, it adds fuel to his fury.

Rescue wings

Kazuhiro Uchida is transferred to a rescue centre located in a small town while training to become a fighter pilot. Initially, Kazuhiro thinks negatively about his new occupation, due to the difficult missions and the harsh discipline he receives from his seniors. However, over the course of his training, he begins to accept the job for what it is and becomes a true member of the rescue force.

sakura no sono

A teen drama that takes place in a girl school which is celebrating its anniversary by staging a play. However, the play may be cancelled because of the misbehaving conduct by some of the senior girls.

Tadano Hitoshi

A new type of super hero is here! Tadano Hitoshi is an assistant manager of an advertisement company who seems to be nothing but a dull and incapable “nobody”. While most of the employees wonder why such a passive and incompetent person like Hitoshi is yet to be laid off, there is just one person who heavily relies on him as a “savior” to the company, the CEO. In fact, the “Mr. Nobody” is simply a disguise from the real Hitoshi, as he is under various special missions of the CEO to quietly carry on his “extraordinary ” task to fight against the corruption of the company. Originally from a big hit comic book and adapted into a television drama airing on TV Asahi 2003.

TAMAGOcCHI the movie 2008

The Tamagotchi is a handheld digital pet created in 1996 and this is the sequel to the first animated film (December 2007).

tomica hero rescue force

Live action film based on the ‘Tomica Hero Rescue Forc’e television series that began airing April 5, 2008 on TV Aichi. It is based on Tomy's Tomica toy car line. The characters use Tomica's Super Tools and Super Vehicles to help save people from extreme disasters rather than battle the evil causing them.

Watashi wa kani ni naritai (i want to be a shellfish)

Remake. On a post-war peaceful day in Japan, Toyomatsu Shimizu, a barber as well as a good father and husband, is falsely arrested by the Prefectural Police as a war criminal and sued for murder. Toyomatsu pleads not guilty, but he is sentenced to death by hanging. Prior to the execution, Toyomatsu writes a long farewell letter to his family, the wife and the only son: "If I ever incarnate, I hate to be a human being any more.... Oh yes, I would like to be...a shellfish living on the rock-bottom of the sea."

YES! precure 5 the Movie

The latest in the PreCure 5 (Pretty Cure 5) series. The Cure Rose Garden has always been concealed from human eye. Flora, the area's guardian, watches over it and makes sure the path to the secret area doesn't appear. However Eternal, an art organization known for amassing treasure and artwork from many worlds, is trying to get to the garden. To do this, they first invade the Palmier Kingdom and four other kingdoms. Flora senses her approaching danger and sends a letter to Nozomi and the Pretty Cure 5. Their new mission is to find the four rulers that have fled from their kingdoms since they hold the Rose Garden Keys.To perform this mission, Nozomi and the others regain their ability to transform into PreCure Five and a new heroine; Milky Rose, appears.

yogisha x no kenshin (The Devotion of Suspect X)

A genius mathematics teacher comes up with a plan to cover up a crime committed by a woman he is in love with.


Film about the life of Dogen, who introduce the “Zen” sect of Buddhism to Japan.

SONY – International Tracking © COPYRIGHT NIELSEN NRG 2008 17 November 2008


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