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Japan box office revenues hit record 261 bil. yen in 2019

Fans gather at Toho Cinemas Shinjuku in Tokyo on July 18, 2019, to attend the midnight world premiere of "Tenki no Ko" (Weathering With You), a new animation film directed by Makoto Shinkai, who directed the popular film "your name." (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Total box office revenues in Japan hit a record 261.1 billion yen ($2.4 billion) in 2019, up 17.4 percent from the previous year, aided by megahits such as the Japanese animation "Weathering With You," a film producers' association said Tuesday.

Cinema attendance surpassed 190 million nationwide, pushing box office revenues above the previous high of 235.5 billion yen in 2016, according to Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan Inc.

Domestic movies accounted for 54.4 percent of the total, eclipsing foreign films for the 12th consecutive year, led by director Makoto Shinkai's blockbuster anime which raked in over 14 billion yen.

Foreign films also had strong showings at Japanese cinemas, with Walt Disney Studios' "Aladdin" and "Toy Story 4" posting about 12 billion yen and 10 billion yen in box office revenues.

Altogether, a record 1,278 domestic and foreign films were released last year in Japan, according to the association.

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