The Hollywood remake of Hideo Nakata's 1998 horror Ringu has already become a bigger hit in Japan than the original, after just three weeks on release.

Topping the box office chart the first week after opening on November 2, Gore Verbinski's The Ring (pictured) has grossed $8.3m (Y1bn) from 800,000 admissions as of November 17, from 250 screens nationwide. This compares with the total $6.6m (Y800m) earned by Ringu. (pictured, left)

However, it still has a long way to go to beat the Japanese sequel, Ringu 2, which grossed $28m (Y3.4bn).

Distributor Asmik Ace, which also produced and distributed the original film, expects The Ring to finish its first run with $16.5m - $20.7m (Y2bn - Y2.5bn). "A lot of fans, especially ones on their twenties, want to compare the remake with the original film," said Asmik Ace publicist Aya Wakabayashi. "But many fans are too young to have seen the original in the cinema. For them The Ring is something totally new."

The film's strong legs - it dipped to number two in its second week, but came roaring back to number one in its third week - is partly attributable to Fuji TV's recent broadcast of Ringu on its national network and a joint appearance by The Ring's Naomi Watts and Ringu's Nanako Matsushima at the Tokyo International Film Festival which received heavy media coverage.