AI BO and Aibo

Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 12:04:08 MDT

AI appears destined to be a box office failure in the United States. From

   Last week's number one, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence slipped two spots
   to number three this weekend with $14M. Slipping an alarming 52% from
   last weekend, A.I.'s total gross now stands at $59.6M. By comparison,
   Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning Saving Private Ryan had $73.4M
   in the bank over its first ten days. While A.I. may be able to reach
   the $100M mark, it still has to be considered a disappointment for
   a film with two highly acclaimed names like Spielberg and Kubrick
   attached to it. The film, which cost a reported $100M to make,
   has apparently scared away moviegoers with a darker than expected
   story line.

However, in Japan, AI set opening-day records. Japan of course
has a tremendous cultural interest in robots. Robot pets like the
Aibo are very popular there, and robots have dominated their cartoon
series for years, many of which have then been imported into the U.S.

   America's love for "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" may not have been
   strong enough to deliver blockbuster returns Stateside, but Japan,
   the most receptive market in the world to American movies, is picking
   up the slack.

   Japan's widest release ever at 524 screens, the Steven Spielberg-helmed
   production reaped $11.6 million over the Saturday-Sunday period,
   including Friday night previews and last Saturday's record-breaking
   $2.6 million sneak, according to the picture's distributor Warner

   Sans sneaks, that marks the biggest two-day debut of all time and
   eclipses "The Matrix" by 164 percent to be a new Japanese record
   for distributor Warner Bros., demolishes "The Mummy Returns" by 166
   percent to be the best June opening and zaps past "Independence Day"
   by 34 percent for the non-sequel crown.

   In terms of admissions though, the sci-fi epic set the all-time
   record, selling 1,037,879 tickets dethroning "Star Wars: Episode I -
   The Phantom Menace", which sold 916,540 in its 1999 debut frame.

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