Takeshi Kobayashi’s indie rock and roll drama Bandage opened in fourth place this weekend despite tough competition at the Japanese box office.
Distributor Toho gave Bandage a medium release of 214 screens on January 16, earning $1.7m (Y153.54m).
Despite its scale, Bandage opened well against Avatar, now in its fourth week at number one with approximately $67m, a classical-music themed TV adaptation Nodame Cantabile: The Final Score – Part I ($35m), now in its fifth week at second place, and newcomer Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Things Are in third.
Produced and co-written by director Shunji Iwai, Bandage follows the struggles of young musicians in the vibrant indie music scene of the 1990s. Boy band Kat-Tun’s vocalist Jin Akanishi made his film debut alongside Kie Kitano, Kengo Kora, Anne, Hideyuki Kasahara and Ayumi Ito. A previous attempt to produce Bandage with director Ryuhei Kitamura directing stalled in 2006.
Akanishi gained popularity in Asia with his role in NTV drama Gokusen while a single and album released by the film’s fictional band “Lands” helped boost box office at home.
Investor and international sales company Nippon Television (NTV) announced two deals closed with Asian distributors after the film’s market premiere at November’s AFM .K&Entertainment picked up South Korean rights while Taiwanese rights went to Catchplay. NTV is currently in negotiations with several Hong Kong distributors and will continue sales at next month’s European Film Market in Berlin.