Disney's The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian ascended to the throne at the box office this past weekend, earning $5.34m (Y551.84m) on 782 screens for a per screen average of $6,831.
In an atypical release pattern, Caspian opened last Wednesday (May 21) without being tied in to a holiday or designated movie discount day. The resulting five-day total was $8.33m (Y864.9m).
Caspian earned 53% of its take from subtitled versions and 47% from dubbed prints, in a growing trend for the latter.
The somewhat tepid numbers are approximately 70% of the $7.57m opening weekend of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in March 2006.
The first film earned a total of $66.1m (Y6.86b) as the 6th most successful release in the territory that year, retaining the pole position for six weeks.
Caspian knocked local hit Partners: The Movie out of the top spot after three weeks at number one. Although in its fourth week, Partners' earnings only dropped 8% from the previous weekend.
Opening on May 1, the Toei release cracked 3 billion yen this weekend, earning $30.96m (Y 3.2b) so far and will soon surpass the latest Doraemon installment ($31.53m) as the biggest local hit this year. Hong Kong's Edko picked up all rights in Cannes.
Distributor Gaga counter-programmed Rambo against Caspian, grabbing third place with earnings of $2m (Y207m), achieving 150% of the final Rocky film's opening last year.
Also joining the fray in sixth place was comedy-drama After School, distributed by Klockworx and directed by 2007 Cannes prize winner Kenji Uchida. It showed strong per screen averages of $9,470 from 72 screens for a total of $681,765.
The other newcomer was Toho period piece remake My Darling of the Mountains (Yama No Anata) with SMAP star Tsuyoshi Kusanagi. It grossed $512,213 on 158 screens and is noteworthy for only charging 1,000 yen ($9.63) per ticket at any location instead of the usual 1,800 yen ($17.33).
The Bucket List continued stable earnings in fourth with weekend earnings of $1.06m while Charlie Wilson's War dropped from third to seventh place with a two week total of only $2.75m from 296 screens.