Disney's TheHaunted Mansion led the weekend before the start of the Golden Weekholiday. Family fare usually goes over well this week-long period -- one of thefew times of the year when the millions of workaholic dads take in a movie withtheir kids. Also, nearly every sentient and ambulatory Japanese has been toTokyo Disneyland and experienced the Haunted House ride that is thefilm's inspiration -- yet another box office plus.
Second is Casshern,a retro-future epic that has received mixed reviews from local critics, butwhose eye-popping trailer has been playing theatres for months, whetting theappetite of its teen target audience.
Thethird-ranking opener, Kill Bill Vol. 2, is benefiting from the successof the previous installment, which prominently featured Japanese settings andactors. Meanwhile, fourth-ranked Cold Mountain may come to Japantrailing major awards and critical hosannas, but like most foreign costumers itis running up against a blank wall of incomprehension from the local audience,who know next to nothing about the film's setting (North Carolina) andhistorical backdrop (the American Civil War).