Producer James Cameron’s 3D production of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away will open the 25th edition of the Tokyo International Film Festival (Oct 20-28) organisers announced today.

Japan will also see the first theatrical release of the film, directed by Andrew Adamson, on November 9 through Paramount. Japan has remained one of the highest-earning markets for the Cirque du Soleil franchise.

The choice of opening film continues TIFF’s long-standing support of 3D screenings since 2008’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth. TIFF’S co-opening film last year was The Three Musketeers, also in 3D. Audiences got a world-first peek at unseen footage from Cameron’s own Avatar in 2009 while Titanic had its world premiere at TIFF in 1997.

Having a performance-based film open the festival may be seen as symbolic of the wider exhibition situation in Japan. 

With the appeal of 3D waning in the territory, particularly in respect to domestic production, and box office remaining flat, exhibitors are now gaining a growing segment of their revenue from ODS such as live sports and concerts in addition to cinema rentals.