Japan Today (Jp), August 11, 2003
Matrix Reloaded' sets box office world record at Roppongi Hills
TOKYO — Virgin Cinemas Roppongi Hills, Tokyo's recently opened destination movie complex, became the world's highest grossing theater for "The Matrix Reloaded," accoridng to company officials.
This is the first time a Tokyo theater has been the top venue for a major Hollywood release, testifying to the appeal of one of the most sophisticated movie theaters ever built.
The lavish, high-tech Virgin Cinemas Roppongi Hills was a major part of the draw for the 82,522 Japanese, who flocked to watch the sci-fi sequel in the futuristic atmosphere of the new Roppongi Hills urban center during its first 39 days to mid-July.
Sales at the theater during this period totaled more than $1.1 million.
"This is an especially impressive achievement given that the movie has been running only eight weeks at Roppongi Hills, while it has been showing for 11 weeks in the United States and 10 weeks in Great Britain," noted Mark Yamamoto, president of the Virgin Cinemas Roppongi Hills. "We were confident that the theater would be a major success, but even with virtually round-the-clock screenings, demand was beyond our capacity. The popularity of the theater proves that despite an increasing amount of competition for entertainment dollars people want to watch quality movies in elegant surroundings and feel like they have had a extraordinary time out."
Keanu Reeves headlined the list of "Matrix Reloaded" actors who piqued Tokyo's interest in May at a red carpet premiere and celebrity press conference held at Roppongi Hills that created a media frenzy in Japan.
Warner Brothers sent a full crew of costars to Tokyo including Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving, Jada Pinkett Smith and producer Joel Silver.
The effort resulted in the Virgin Cinemas Roppongi Hills surpassing such traditional premiere theaters as the New York Cinema in Manhattan, Warner West End Theater in London and Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.