"Taiheiyou no Kiseki" opens at almost 400 million yen
The #1 movie at the box office this past holiday weekend was Hideyuki Hirayama's "Taiheiyou no Kiseki: Fox to Yobareta Otoko," starring actor Yutaka Takenouchi. The film opened on Friday on 300 screens nationwide and brought in more than 330,000 viewers, earning slightly more than 390 million yen.
The film unseated "GANTZ" from the top spot, after the latter had ranked #1 for two weeks in a row. It also beat out the "Ashita no Joe" movie (starring Tomohisa Yamashita), which opened at #3. In any case, the big winner of the weekend was Toho, the distributor for all three of those films.
"Taiheiyou no Kiseki" is about the Japanese captain Sakae Oba, who headed the last remaining Japanese unit in the Battle of Saipan against the American forces during World War II. Hirayama co-directed the film with Cellin Gluck, though they each filmed their parts separately - Hirayama was in charge of the Japanese side, while Gluck took care of the American side.
Besides Takenouchi, the film's cast includes Toshiaki Karasawa, Mao Inoue, and Takayuki Yamada. The main U.S. soldiers were played by Sean McGowan, Daniel Baldwin, and Treat Williams.
According to a survey conducted online and on mobile phones, it is estimated that 62% of the opening weekend audience was male. Older generations made up the bulk of the viewers, with 32.2% in their 50s and 27% in their 40s.
The movie, also known under the English title "Oba: The Last Samurai," has already secured distribution in England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Toho is currently negotiating for distribution in many other countries, including France, Belgium, and The Netherlands.