Tearjerker drama April Bride (Yomei Ikkatgetsu No Hanayome) opened in the top position at the Japanese box office this weekend (May 9-10).
The film earned $4.24m (Y413m) on 302,068 admissions at 310 screens for a strong $13,677 per screen average for distributor Toho. Although the only new release in the top ten, April Bride opened against the continued success of Red Cliff Part 2 and second week release Goemon.
April Bride stars Nana Eikura as a young woman who conceals her breast cancer diagnosis from her boyfriend (Eita). He eventually finds out and plans a wedding despite his girlfriend only having one month left to live.
The film is directed by Ryuichi Hiroki with a screenplay by Hiroshi Saito. The cast also includes Satomi Tezuka, Misako Yasuda and Akira Emoto.
April Bride is based on the true story of Chie Nagashima, whose battle with the disease was unflinchingly chronicled in a news report and subsequent documentary broadcast on TBS in May 2007.
The story also spawned a best-selling book and a new focus on breast cancer in young women in general, leading to strong anticipation and results for the film among the same demographic. A caravan travelling across Japan is offering breast cancer exams as part of the film’s promotion.
TBS sold rights to Hong Kong and Taiwan following November’s AFM and is currently negotiating deals with Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.
April Bride is part of TBS’s slate at the Cannes market, which also includes Crows II, Rookies and The Triumphant General Rouge.