Boosted by the smash success of Bayside Shakedown 2, Japan's largest film distributor and exhibitor Toho has announced record six-month earnings.

Half year revenues, for the period ending in August amounted to $422m (Y48.9bn), representing a 4.9% gain over the previous period, as well as a huge improvement on an earlier forecast of $345m.

Meanwhile, ordinary profit soared to $75m, a 15.4% rise over the previous period and far over the company's $51m projection. Both figures represent all-time highs for Toho.

The biggest reason for the company's success in the first half of fiscal 2003 is Bayside Shakedown 2, a cop thriller/comedy that has grossed $130m on 11,140,000 admissions since its July 19 release. This is more than double the total for Bayside Shakedown, a 1998 film based on a popular Fuji TV series.

Toho officials also said that video sales for the second half of the fiscal year, ending in February 2004, are expected to total $118m - breaking yet another corporate record.