There has been an awakening.
While the new Star Wars movie crushes box office records across the US and Europe, let’s take this moment to consider that not every market awards box office victories based on cash money.
Japan, for example, tracks movies based on the number of ticket sales, not how much money was made by those ticket sales. And going by that criteria, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was only the #2 movie in Japan over the weekend.
Top spot was taken by (*deep breath*) Yo-Kai Watch the Movie 2: King Enma and the 5 Stories, Nyan!, the second animated movie in a game/anime series that is dominating Japan in a way not seen since the height of Pokemania. Yahoo says that 975,000 tickets were sold for the movie on Saturday and Sunday.
Star Wars, on the other hand, could “only” draw 800,000 people to cinemas.
Note for fans of a cash money chart system: because a much higher percentage of Yo-Kai Watch 2’s audience were buying cheaper children’s tickets, it made $8.71 million, while Star Wars’ sales were worth $10.3 million. So chin up, JJ Abrams, at least you’ve got that.