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.
A man was found dead after being run over by a car on a road in Mooka, Tochigi Prefecture, but police said Tuesday that he may have already been dead after being hit by another car earlier. (Japan Today)
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office has filed charges of drug trafficking against a 40-year-old woman who left a large quantity of illegal drugs inside a fast-food outlet, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
An increasing number of people are using the "furusato nozei" hometown donation program to support Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, which has been hit hard by a recent series of strong earthquakes. (Jiji Press)