With Spring Break about to start, Japanese distributors rolled out more new releases on March 13.
The biggest in terms of screen average, $46,002, was Hotel Venus, a heavily promoted ensemble drama starring a member of the popular boy band SMAP and filmed entirely in Korean -- a first for a film whose main cast members are Japanese.
Also opening strongly, with a $46,002 on 15 major city screens, was Innocence, the first feature animation by director Mamoru Oshii in nine years, since his influential hit Ghost In The Shell in 1995.
Doraemon and One Piece 5, two long-running animation franchises that target under-twelves, also opened. The only new Hollywood release on the nine-major-cities chart was Once Upon A Time In Mexico, which recorded a strong $42,718 average on 18 screens.