Changing out of work attire and heading to the theaters is gradually becoming a reality for people in Japan. The lessening of rigidity in the country’s corporate culture, alongside the release of powerhouse Hollywood films, has recently driven up Japan’s box office earnings according to The Hollywood Reporter. It has been over a decade since Hollywood films have dominated over 50 percent of the Japanese box office.
Bohemian Rhapsody was a blockbuster for Japan this year, despite its release in early November. Because of the film’s promotional tactics targeted popular cultural trends, such as the release of a karaoke version of the film and cosplay, the film had enough movie-goers to generate $115.7 million at the box office by mid-May. Other films that have seen economically significant releases in Japan include Aladdin ($110 million) and Toy Story 4 ($81 million).
A labor reform law was enacted this April that caps overtime for employees, allowing them to have more time outside of work to enjoy leisure activities like being with family and enjoying entertainment. Mikio Mizobata, a researcher at Daiwa Institute of Research stated that “with the introduction of overtime caps under the law, more companies are expected to shed overtime hours and have their employees rest on weekends properly.” This increase in extra time is also coupled with an increase wages due to the labor shortage, which has proven to be a good formula for the movie industry. Considering how these conditions will stay in place, this will contribute to a booming film industry into the future.