What were you expecting?
Many parts of the world have already heard the news of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and its opening weekend domination of box office sales setting a new record of $529 million worldwide. But in Japan it appears the space opera may have been edged out by the plucky little ghosts of Yo-kai Watch.
Their latest feature-length film [deep breath] Yo-kai Watch Enma Daio to Itsutsu no Monogatari Da Nyan! (Yo-kai Watch: It’s King Enma and the 5 Legends Nyan!) had 974,557 people in attendance on 19 and 20 December. While this fell short of Star Wars’ 1,040,000 viewers, that figure was measured over three days and still only edged out Yo-kai Watch’s two-day attendance by about 70,000 people.
▼ I suspect the film’s success to be largely due to its catchy name…
There is a bit of apples and oranges accounting going on with Yo-kai Watch’s opening day of 19 December and Star Wars’ opening on 18 December, but any way you project the data, the hit anime franchise seems to come out on top. For example, on Yo-kai Watch’s opening day alone they grossed in 1.05 billion yen ($8.66 million), nearly two-thirds of what Star Wars made its entire first weekend.
That being said, Yo-kai Watch would most likely have been hurt in the pocket by the large number of young kids in the audience who get in for lower prices. Based on opening day questionnaires about 51.4 percent of Yo-kai Watch’s viewership was elementary school or younger and another 40 percent were over 30 (aka those kids parents).
Assuming the remaining 8.6 percent were in middle and high school and also subject to discounts, here’s a rough estimate of how Yo-kai Watch’s average daily ticket sales could have worked out.
And since Daily Sports Online reported Star Wars’ three-day earnings in Japan to be 1.619 billion yen ($13.4 million), here’s their average daily income.
Much like The Force Awakens, Yo-Kai Watch got off to a momentous start thanks to large advance ticket sales. Kids dragged their parents online in their droves to place orders after learning that a special Yo-kai Watch medal would be given away with each purchase, with over one million such purchases made.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is apparently how you make a hit movie these days.