In a move that surprises only those who have seen the movie, Cloverfield has demolished the Japanese box office this past weekend, taking in 26.4 million yen and beating previous boffo box office movie Dreamgirls by 30.2% despite the musical's playing on more screens across the country.
As with the U.S. release, Cloverfield was subject to much pre-release marketing in Japan; in addition to the official manga, the cast and crew of the movie spent time in the country doing publicity, and Japan's own version of the internet - called "the internet" - was as full of viral marketing for the movie as the U.S.'s. Although it has to be seen whether Japanese audiences will get free party mixes with their DVD copies of the movie.
The only downside to the Japanese success of JJ Abrams' monster movie is for US critics who find themselves torn between wanting to make Beyonce versus Godzilla jokes and feeling the need for some semi-racist "those Japanese sure do like their monster movies walking around in highly-populated urban areas" reference.
Monster Japan bow for 'Cloverfield' [Variety]