Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Astro Boy Watch

Astro Boy might be rocking in China, but in the land of his birth, there's a different and sadder story.

Imagi Entertainment's "Astro Boy" bombed in Japan ....

After opening on more than 200 screens on the weekend of Oct. 10-12, "Astro Boy" pulled in a disappointing $328,457 in its first week, an average of just over $1,500 per screen, to put it at the bottom of the week's rankings. For comparison, the same week's top film, NTV's "Kaiji," took over $4 million from just over 300 screens at an average of over $13,200.

If distributor Kadokawa was hoping for a slow burner, it was to be disappointed as "Atom," as it was titled locally, dropped out of the top 10 and out of sight the following week ... [I]t looks to have gone the way of other recent attempts such as the live-action versions of "Speed Racer" and "Dragonball Evolution," which both failed to ignite the boxoffice in the land of their origin.

I hadn't seen the box office results for AB in Japan until now, although I knew it had been out for a few weeks. Apparently the reception given the picture by the Japanese mirrors the stateside reaction, which is a shame.

This probably doesn't bode well for Imagi's future plans.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, there's still the rest of the world for Astro to conquer...or not. It's odd that he's being rejected by his own country, though.

I loved the movie, and friends of mine who have seen it feel the same. It's a terribly underrated, wonderful film. I wonder if people think it's only for very young children? If so, they're wrong. I enjoyed this more than any other CGI movie this year, even more than "Up", which was excellent. But it didn't tug on my heartstrings or inspire affection for its main character the way "Astro Boy" did. Hopefully this film WILL eventuallly turn a profit, and we'll see more of the little boy robot.

Racattack Force said...

"It's odd that he's being rejected by his own country, though."

It's not odd. From what I hear about the film, its Astro Boy in name only and has a ton of storytelling issues. It's not the Astro Boy that Japan fell in love with, so it failed.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you watch the film yourself, Racattack. You're making a ton of assumptions - and so did I when I first saw the ads for the film. But I changed my mind upon viewing it. I didn't see any real "storytelling issues", aside from the fact it seemed a bit rushed at times and there was some unneeded political asides apparently aimed at adults. But the film's virtues greatly outweigh its flaws. People who scoff at the film don't know what they're missing.

Anonymous said...

But it's getting a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes...

Anonymous said...

Like the man said, it's underrated. Great movie.

Anonymous said...

47% on Rotten Tomatoes is decent, it actually got higher score than some recent 3D animated blockbusters, like Ice Age 3, Shrek the Third...etc. For a small studio like Imagi trying to bring anime to the big screen, at least they got my full respect.

Anonymous said...

I saw it. Astro Turd. Of course it failed in Japan. Asia has Pluto, the marvelous faithful retelling of Astro Boy, not this Oliver Twist Aardman take.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/feature-film/astro-boys-abysmal-opening-and-imagis-sinking-ship.html

Anonymous said...

Yep, it's underrated. The wife and I saw it Sunday night. I think it successfully translated the anime's spirit and added a lot of heart and empathy and imagination too. Beautiful to look at. Great action. Imagi did a fine job.

As for Pluto, I've read it, and I think it's...interesting. But not nearly as fun as this movie.

Anonymous said...

So does anyone kjnow what the status of Imagi is? I assume they were waiting to see the results of AB before they went full speed ahead (again) on Gatchaman. Are they still moving ahead or have they decided it's not worth the effort?

Despite all the bad stories about that place I've heard it would be a shame to lose one more place of possible employment

Anonymous said...

UPDATE: The actual opening weekend box office gross for Astro Boy was $6.7 million.

Production cost comes it at $65 million not including marketing... Something changed after their TMNT debut, something wicked this way comes...

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget history...

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/feature-film/the-financial-woes-of-astro-boys-producer.html

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