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 on Tuesday started fully operating the world's first geostationary weather satellite capable of taking images in color, hoping to forecast typhoon movements and concentrated downpours more accurately. (Kyodo)
A total of 455 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people petitioned the Japan Federation of Bar Associations on Tuesday to urge the government and lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage. (Jiji Press)
Evacuees from a southwestern Japanese island hit by a volcanic eruption made a brief return to their homes on Tuesday ahead of an approaching typhoon. But their trip was cut short due to volcanic quakes. (NHK)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday announced the arrest of the boss of an organized crime group for the alleged confinement and assault of a construction worker, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 6). (Tokyo Reporter)
Meet Ladybaby, the Japanese musical group that will make you look twice. Featuring Ladybeard, the east's most hirsute crossdressing entertainer, this band's debut song blends infectious Japanese pop with bizarre, energetic heavy metal vocals. (forbes.com)
Police arrested a 40-year-old man Monday for allegedly setting fire to his own home in Kitsuki, Oita Prefecture, where four bodies, believed to be his children, were found amid the burned wreckage. (Japan Times)
A 26-year-old man was arrested Sunday for allegedly confining in his car an 11-year-old schoolgirl who went missing the day before in Nara Prefecture while shopping with her family, police said. (Kyodo)
A drug control division of the health ministry on Saturday announced the arrest of a former executive of public broadcaster NHK for the importation of so-called "dangerous drugs," reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 4). (Tokyo Reporter)