John Woo’s Red Cliff II scaled to the top of the Japanese box office this past weekend, with earnings of $8.66m (Y869m) over the three-day period (April 10-12).
The sequel to the 2008 hit saw 681,000 admissions from 729 screens, the widest ever for a non-Japanese Asian film.
The Friday opening and screen count is on par with major Hollywood releases and represents a large increase from part one’s 550 screens. Red Cliff II earned $6.69m (Y672m) over the traditional two-day period.
The Red Cliff films are co-distributed by Avex Entertainment and Toho-Towa. Avex previously stated its aim of a $100m final tally, approximately double of the first film’s take.
After its premiere at the Tokyo film festival last October, the first Red Cliff was released on November 1. It became the fourth most successful release of 2008 and the highest-grossing non-Japanese Asian hit ever, with earnings of $50.3m (Y5.05bn). As with part one, the sequel was released several months after the rest of Asia.
The two-day gross beat out newcomer Crows Zero 2, distributed by Toho. The film earned $5.7m (Y569.5m), representing a strong per screen average of over $18,000 from 314 screens, and a 43% increase over the 2007 original’s first weekend. Both installments are directed by Takashi Miike.
Kadokawa’s Drop remained in third place while another Miike film, Yatterman, dropped to fourth in its sixth week in the top ten. It has earned just under $30m for co-distributors Nikkatsu and Shochiku so far.