by Chris MaGee
Jason Gray has written a very informative article for Screen Daily that anyone who's a fan of Japanese films should have a good look at. He goes into great detail breaking down a very encouraging rise in Japanese audiences going to the theatre to actually see Japanese films in 2008. The meat of it is that domestic films brought in 59.5% (nearly ¥116 billion) of box office revenue in Japan while revenue from imported films dropped 23.9% from 2007. That marks a 39 year low for imported films at the Japanese box office.
Of course films like Hayao Miyazaki's "Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea" and "Hana yori Dango: Final" definitely helped to swing those numbers somewhat it's still great to hear that Japanese people actually got out and paid to see domestic films. I can't tell you how many times I've met people visiting from Japan or spoken to Japanese friends who freely admit that "I don't like Japanese movies." Thankfully Jason feels that situation is changing. Here's hoping he's right.