Japanese animation sensation Spirited Away has crossed the mammoth $200m mark in Japan, the first non-US feature ever to do so and, still going strong at the top of the box office, is on track to overtake Titanic's all-time box office record of $213 million (Y26bn).
The fantasy , which is directed by Princess Mononoke's Hayao Miyazaki, has grossed $201m (Y24.6bn) in the territory after 14 weeks. Since its release on July 20, Spirited Away has sold 19m tickets and easily broke the all-time admissions record in the territory, also set by 1997's Titanic with 17m.
Spirited Away also joins The Mummy Returns and Pearl Harbor as only the third film of the year so far to cross the $200m box office mark outside North America.
Continuing to perform with gusto in Hong Kong is La Brasserie, a Hong Kong-UK co-production which has scored a resounding three week gross of $2.1m (hk$16.7m). Shot during summer 2001 in Hong Kong by Icon Films and with the London unit, under the auspices of Scene Productions, working on the production until early September the film opened in at number one on Sept 27 with a solid take of $954,509 (hk$7.4m) from 37 screens for a screen average of $25,798 - putting it on a par with the August release of Jackie Chan's Rush Hour 2 ($996,392). Brasserie held the top spot in week two, dropping off just 18% and has continued to perform in week three when it managed a further $401,516 from 34 screens. Produced by Amy Chin in Hong Kong and Jonathan Weissler in the UK the film is directed by Chan Hing-Ka, the screenwriter of John Woo's A Better Tomorrow, and Patrick Leung, who worked with Woo on The Killer and Hard-Boiled. Brasserie easily out performed Leung's last effort, Born Wild, which opened May 31 to $113,863 on 23 screens. Both films were distributed by OHY.
School holidays in some territories have helped films aimed at younger audiences this week. In Denmark the revenue for local productions My Sister's Kids (Min Soesters Boern) and Jolly Roger saw massive revenue increases at the weekend. My Sister's Kids, a family feature about a childless children's psychiatrist babysitting his sister's inventive offspring, increased its box office takings 163% over its the first weekend with a 3-day gross of $519,785 and pushed American Pie 2 down to second place. Jolly Roger, a pirate adventure directed by Lasse Spang Olsen, saw its weekend figures climb 181% from its opening weekend recording a 3-day gross of $148,361. Neither feature had added prints. Another local title, Anja & Viktor, increased 114% in its twelfth weekend on release. Other children's titles also benefited with Cats & Dogs and Spy Kids rising 168% and 172% respectively. Cats & Dogs used school holidays to its advantage in the UK as well where it saw an 8% rise over the previous weekend.
Claiming yet another territory's top spot American Pie 2 opened in France to score a first week total of 1.25m admissions. The opening was distributor UIP's biggest opening of the year so far in France despite already having handled such blockbuster titles as Hannibal, The Mummy Returns, Jurassic Park 3 and The Fast And The Furious. The comedy sequel has already grossed $58.9m internationally for UIP and has still to open in many major territories, including Australia, Italy and Japan.
Additional reporting by MAMIKO KAWAMOTO and PETRA BUDDRUS