‘Transformers’ Beats ‘Harry’ In Japan

Posted on Aug 9, 2007

By MARK SCHILLING

Opening Saturday on 617 screens, helmer Michael Bay’s “Transformers” jumped straight to the top of the Japanese weekend box office with a two-day total of ¥631.3 million ($5.35 million).

That spelled more than “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” which took in $4.04 million over the weekend, for second place.

The “Transformers” figure is 16% better than the $4.6 million opening weekend for “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (Japan cume $57.5 million), which bowed on 370 screens, and 6% better than the $5.07 million of “Mission: Impossible III” (Japan cume $43.4 million), which debuted on 800 screens. Both were released in summer, like “Transformers.”

“Transformers” compares favorably with Bay’s previous smash, “Armageddon,” which opened in Japan with $5.87 million and went on to make $114 million in 1998 when the Japanese exhibition circuit was considerably smaller than today.

Looking at the strong early numbers, and the higher-than-expected female auds, distributor United Intl. Pictures is predicting a $59 million final tally for “Transformers.”

Source: Variety