This weekend, Keanu Reeves' samurai adventure film 47 Ronin opened first in Japan…but not in first place. The movie, which cost Universal around $175 million (before marketing) to make, only grossed $1.3 million at theaters, putting it in 3rd place in the overall Japanese box office ranking.
As it stands, the pic's dismal opening in Japan does not bode well for 47 Ronin's upcoming Christmas Day opening in America. Industry paper Variety hints at all but predicting a disappointing take in the US, too.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)