Director Martin Scorsese and star Leonardo DiCaprio are preparing to launch a major push in Japan for the forthcoming release of Gangs Of New York.

Both are scheduled to arrive in Japan on November 18, spending five days on a concerted PR tour - as part of a bid to boost the film's fortunes in the world's second largest film market.

Emphasising the importance of the Japanese market, Gangs Of New York is being released in the territory on December 21, four days ahead of its current planned US opening on Christmas Day.

Gangs Of New York is being released by Nippon Herald and Shochiku in Japan, who are understood to have paid in the region of $15m for rights to the film.

The reason for the major Japanese push seems to be DiCaprio's strong pulling power in the territory. DiCaprio starrer Titanic earned an astonishing $213m in Japan. Even DiCaprio's more modestly performing titles like The Beach outperformed other territories because of the star's popularity in the country.