Produced by Fuji rival TBS and released on October 27, Crows grossed $3.49m (Y400m) in its first two days on 259 screens, for a strong $13,474 per-screen average. Both Hero and Crows are distributed by Toho, which has predicted final earnings for Crows at over $26.2m (Y3bn).
Hero 's current earnings stand at $66.57m, making it the most successful domestic release this year, soon set to surpass last year's number one film Tales From Earthsea ($66.75m). However, the final tally doesn't look to reach Toho's original prediction of Y9bn-Y10bn ($78.52-$87.25m).
Shochiku drama Zo No Senaka, starring Koji Yakusho, opened in fourth place with $821,000 behind Gaga-distributed Hairspray. Warner Brothers' The Brave One bowed in fifth place with $744,700 on 294 screens, just ahead of new UIP release Stardust with $656,300.
Crows is based on Hiroshi Takahashi's manga which has sold 32 million copies. Rising star Shun Oguri (Sukiyaki Western Django) plays a newcomer to a tough high school who tries to navigate the various gang factions in place and take power.
Crows had its public and market world premiere at the Pusan International Film Festival earlier this month, with Germany 's Splendid Film acquiring all German and Benelux rights. This film had its Japan premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival last week.
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