John Woo's Red Cliff has held the number one position for the third week in a row at the Japanese box office.

The film has now earned a total of $25.87m (Y2.5bn) and surpassed two million admissions in the first sixteen days of its release. It held off Fuji TV-produced airline comedy Happy Flight, starring Haruka Ayase. The Toho-distributed title opened in second with earnings of $2.25m (Y216.9m) on 164,000 admissions.

Another Fuji TV-Toho partnership, Suspect X, remained in fourth after seven weeks in the top ten. It recently passed $40m as Fuji's biggest earner this year as it approaches the top five domestic titles in 2008.

The fifth installment in Toei's animated Pretty Cure franchise dropped one place after opening in second last week. Large drops for the X-Files movie and Eagle Eye saw Gaga-distributed Journey To The Center Of The Earth move back up to seventh in admissions from ninth.

Red Cliff is the only import this year to hold the top spot for three weeks in a row. Co-distributors Toho-Towa and Avex Entertainment predicted a $50m (Y5bn) final tally after the opening weekend but the film is outpacing the earnings of Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, which took in $59.06m as the biggest import this year.

Red Cliff 's achievements come ahead of the second installment's opening in April 2009.