According to numbers from Japan’s box office, seven of 2013’s top ten movies were animated films, as Hollywood dramas, thrillers and action movies are continuing on a decline in a market where they were so dominant less than a decade ago. Industry analysts are pointing to a lack of big-name Hollywood live-action franchises in 2013 – in the mold of Harry Potter or Resident Evil – as the biggest contributor to Hollywood’s poor performance in the Japanese movie market.
Predictably, “The Wind Rises” – which Hayao Miyazaki insists is his last feature animation – was at the top of the pile earning US$116.1 million in profits. Pixar’s “Monsters University” follows at a fairly close second, earning a very impressive US$89 million. If numbers from Disney/Pixar are close to the truth, their Japan earnings with “Monsters U” represent almost 20 percent of the company’s international earnings for the year. The third top-grossing film is “Ted”, and while it is categorized as a live-action film, the main character – a foul-mouthed, beer-drinking, weed-smoking teddy bear that the Japanese surprisingly fell in love with – is undeniably CGI-created.
“Iron Man 3” earned a half-decent US$25.3 million to make it the fourth top-earning Hollywood film in Japan in 2013, but did not make it to the top 10. “Despicable Me 2” took in US$21.3 million, another animated film that did well. “The Lone Ranger,” considered a flop in most markets worldwide, performed surprisingly well in the Japanese market, finishing a little over US$20 million. Among the Japanese 2013 box office top 10 were movie releases of popular anime franchises, including “Detective Conan”, “Pokemon” and “Dragon Ball.” Another Hollywood surprise animated hit “Wreck-It Ralph” – released in Japan as “Sugar Rush” – was the only other Hollywood production that made it to the top 10, in tenth place, raking in US$29.3 million.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]