Michael Winterbottom's In This World led all new openers with a screen average of $36,760. Distributor Amuse, now merged into Toshiba Entertainment, saturated leading Tokyo art theatres with trailers prior to the November 15 opening at the Cine Chanter theater in Tokyo and the Kannai MG theatre in Yokohama. Also, with Japanese Self Defense Force troops set to go to Iraq before the end of the year, public interest in the Middle East is high.

Finally, Japanese audiences have long had a soft spot for films about Third World children in difficult circumstances, as evidenced by the success of Iranian films with underage heroes. In This World is scheduled to roll out to six more theaters nationwide by January.