The year 2014 proved to be a great year for Japanese movies in general and the Rurouni Kenshin movie franchise in particular as the two sequels, “Kyoto Inferno” and “The Legend Ends” broke into the Top 50 highest grossing Philippine-released movies of last year.
According to the box-office ranking website Box Office Mojo, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno was the 28th highest grossing movie in the country, with gross ticket sales amounting to USD1,827,401 (about PHP81,960,000).
The final movie of the trilogy, Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, which was at the 34th spot, grossed a total of USD1,447,012 (about PHP 64,900,00).
In all, the two sequels grossed an cumulative total of USD3,274,413 (almost PHP146,860,000).
The sequels, directed by Keishi Otomo, opened up at No. 1 in the Philippine Box Office charts at the time of their respective opening dates, with Kyoto Inferno lording the charts for two (2) straight weekends from August 20-24 and August 27-31, with the first day opening at PHP7.3 million.
The Legend Ends, meanwhile, took the top spot for the weekend of September 24-28, with over PHP41 million gross on its first weekend.
The movie’s Asian premiere in Manila, which was graced by lead actors Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei and Munetaka Aoki, alongside Director Otomo, helped boost the movie’s theatrical run in cinemas, alongside the opening of the film to more cinemas being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures – Philippines.
The first Rurouni Kenshin movie, which was released by Pioneer Films (Movie Punch), was the 54th highest grossing Philippine release of 2012, grossed at USD647,922 (over PHP29 million), despite the fact that only SM Cinemas were the ones showing the film and in the onset of the Metro Manila Film Festival during that time.
Among the other Japanese movie releases of 2014, Lupin III, the live-action adaptation of the popular Monkey Punch manga, grossed only PHP4,228,099.06 (USD94,272) during its theatrical run, taking the 102nd spot in the list.
At the 114th spot is the anime movie Hunter × Hunter: The Last Mission, which took in a gross of PHP3,154,659.19 (USD70,338), while the live action reboot of Kuroshitsuji took the 121st spot in the list, grossing only PHP2,481,281.32 (USD55,324)
The top movie of the year, as well as the top foreign movie in the country for 2014 was the superhero flick The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which grossed at USD10,211,056 (about PHP458 million), while the top local flick of 2014 was the Toni Gonzaga and Piolo Pascual romantic-comedy starrer Starting Over Again, which eked out a total of USD9,096,712 (about PHP408 million) in the box office.