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Japan Distributing American Indie Film

While Japan's total theatrical film market has expanded by nearly 25 percent over the past five years, the portion of total boxoffice claimed by the five U.S. majors has not kept pace. One reason: Japanese independent importer-distributors, often distributing local films acquired at markets like the American Film Market, are taking a greater slice of the boxoffice pie.

This might be a significant trend because Japan is traditionally the largest theatrical offshore market for the American majors and film sellers. According to distributors, boxoffice rankings for the period covering January 1 - October 25, show that the nation's leading distributor by far is Toho Co. The Japanese giant handles the output from the nation's most commercially successful domestic film producers: Fuji Television and Studio Ghibili, the source of the smash animation creations of Hayao Miyazaki.

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