Pixar's Wall-E opened at the top of the Japanese box office this past weekend, dethroning John Woo's Red Cliff after five weeks at number one.

Although films typically open on Saturdays, distributor Walt Disney released Wall-E on Friday (Dec 5) in Japan. Opening on 461 screens, Wall-E earned $4.84m (Y450m) on the weekend and $5.49m (Y510m) over the three-day period.

Japan was the last remaining territory for release after Wall-E earned $490m worldwide. Walt Disney is aiming for a $53.83m (Y5bn) final tally, out-grossing previous Pixar and Walt Disney releases Ratatouille ($39.06m) and Enchanted ($35.18m).

Opening in the number two spot was NTV's natural disaster thriller 252: Signal Of Life, starring Hideaki Ito.

Last week's second place entry, WWII drama I'd Rather Be A Shellfish from TBS, slipped to fourth place.

Shochiku's action-comedy Mr Tadano's Secret Mission - From Japan With Love opened in fifth.

While Red Cliff failed to tie Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea's six weeks at number one, it has earned $44.14m (Y4.1bn) - surpassing Zhang Yimou's Hero as the highest-grossing Asian release ever in Japan.

*Preliminary box officerankings are according to admissions numbers, withdefinitive gross figures announced Wednesdays in Screendaily.com's Global Box Office category.