Bayside Shakedown 2, the sequel to a 1998 hit cop thriller, recorded the best-ever opening for a Japanese film, following its July 19 release on 400 screens.

In its first three days the film grossed $15.7m(Y1.8bn) on 1,260,934 admissions. The previous record holder, Hayao Miyazaki's animated smash Spirited Away, earned $14.1m on 1,231,348 admissions in its first three days on release in July 2001. It opened, however, on only 320 screens.

Distributor Toho expects Bayside Shakedown 2 to finish its first run with $128m. This compares with $84m for Bayside Shakedown and $260m for Spirited Away.

The all-time weekend opening record for Japan is held by Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets, which recorded 862,958 admissions and a gross of $16.7m following its release on 858 screens on November 23, 2002..

Directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro, who also directed Bayside Shakedown, Bayside Shakedown 2 features Yuji Oda as a feisty cop working in a trendy waterfront precinct of Tokyo, who spends as much time battling the police bureaucracy as he does evildoers planning to blow up the landmark Rainbow Bridge. A production consortium headed by Fuji TV provided the film's $8.5m budget.