Disney’s “Big Hero 6” climbed atop the Japanese box office for the peak New Year’s holiday period. Released in Japan on Dec. 20, the picture recorded $5.6 million on 505,000 admissions on Jan. 3-4 .
By Jan. 4, its 16th day on release, its cumulative total had risen to
$34.6 million on 3.36 million admissions, the second fastest box office pace for a Disney animation, after “Frozen.” Given the setting, protagonist and subject matter, this isn\'t a surprise.
The fact that BH6 failed to secure #1 during it's first week of release in Japan is more notable especially since it lost by a large margin to a Japanese animated film not directed by Hayao Miyazaki, a shocker to Westerners I'm sure, named Yokai Watch. Of course this and the records it's breaking faster then even Frozen will go unnoticed in the West but that's to be expected since it's not about Disney dominating foreign animation riffraff.
Yo-Kai Watch is riding on the back of a popular video game and that game's TV/manga spinoffs. Of course it's going to be a better-known item in theaters than Baymax.
Without knowing more about it, though, I am skeptical that Yo-Kai Watch will have the shelf life of Studio Ghibli and Disney films. It's possible that Yo-Kai Watch rises above other video game adaptations like Pokemon: The First Movie and Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture (which had fabulous work from director Masami Ôbari)...but time will tell.
Who cares? It's just more juvenile children's cartoon pablum, akin to cheap American TV crap from the eighties, as 99.5% of all Japanese cartoons are. They like what they know--especially the audience for the stuff, young children, hence it's marginal success over Big Hero 6.
The thoughts and observations of the leaders of The Animation Guild (TAG), Local 839 IATSE. Steve Hulett is the Business Representative, Jack Thomas is the Acting-President, Steve Kaplan is the Organizer.
This weblog reflects their individual personal opinions and does not necessarily represent the official position of the Animation Guild.
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