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Japan has achieved the first box office goal of Gower Street’s Blueprint To Recovery markers. The major, and former international #1, box office territory hit the Stage 2 goal on our Blueprint To Recovery thanks to the local launch of Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed adaptation of literary classic LITTLE WOMEN.

As shown above, Japan’s Stage 2 target would be reached with a single-day box office of ¥13.9 million. The target is determined as an equivalent to the lowest grossing day in a market from the previous two years (2018-2019). This was achieved, for the first time since Japan’s re-opening, on Friday June 12 – the opening day of LITTLE WOMEN.

Demonstrating the importance of major new releases in aiding box office recovery, the Sony release alone delivered over ¥12.9 million ($118k) on June 12, according to our partners at Comscore Movies. That represents over 93% of the Stage 2 target achieved by just LITTLE WOMEN’s release day. The market as a whole delivered more than double the required box office to hit the goal. A day later and the multi-award winning period drama would single-handedly deliver well beyond the single-day goal. It total LITTLE WOMEN grossed ¥54.2 million ($502k) over its first three days in Japan.

Japan joins Germany and South Korea among the top 12 international markets that have now hit the Stage 2 goal (Korea never fully closed down). A number of smaller markets have also achieved this first box office marker, including Netherlands, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and New Zealand – the latter of which also did so this past weekend, on Saturday June 13.

No Comscore-tracked market has achieved Stage 3 so far. This looks to the full-week box office to reach an equivalent level to the lowest grossing week in a market from the previous two years (2018-2019). Netherlands delivered 58% of the Stage 3 target in the week-ending June 10.

In Japan the Stage 3 target will take a little longer to achieve but progress is being made. The Growth Tracker above will not show the first full Japanese box office week containing LITTLE WOMEN (June 13-19) until next week. Monday-Wednesday business this week has shown it should easily double the box office of the previous week (June 6-12, currently shown on the Growth Tracker), but this will still leave it a long way from the ¥313.2 million Stage 3 goal.

Japan was the last major market to go into full close-down, announcing a nationwide state of emergency on April 16. According to Comscore, local box office in Japan stood approximately 42% down against 2019 at the point the state of emergency was announced.

On May 11, the government lifted that state of emergency in 34 prefectures allowing cinemas to begin a tentative re-opening. This was followed May 26 by a nationwide lift, freeing the remaining prefectures (including Tokyo and Osaka) to begin re-opening – Tokyo allowed cinemas to start re-opening June 1. In our Road To Recovery report, where we are tracking all open cinemas by market, we can see the majority of cinemas in Japan have now returned to business.

Every week Gower Street is tracking what is happening around the world. What markets are opening; what growth is being achieved. We’ve laid out our Blueprint To Recovery, identifying 5 key markers – including 4 box office markers – that will help us track individual market and global progress. We’ve explained the maths behind them and introduced these Growth Trackers to our Road To Recovery reports at the end of May.

The latest International and Domestic versions of our Road To Recovery are available via our Reports page. The International edition features the latest information for 29 international markets, including the top 12, as well as our Global Box Office Tracker. The Domestic edition features information for all 50 US States as well as each Canadian province.