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World Cup: The Movie

May 28th, 2006

If you’re a really, really big fan of soccer–excuse me, football–then you might want to cough up ¥2500 and stay up real late to watch it live in a movie theater. Toho Cinemas is having three late-show soccer broadcasts, somehow shown on screen via satellite TV, featuring games the Japanese team is participating in.

The first is on June 12 (Japan vs. Australia) and the second on the 18th (Japan vs. Croatia), both starting at 10:00 pm Japan time. The third (Japan vs. Brazil) starts at 4:00 am, on the 22nd/23rd (the time is listed as “28:00”).

By chance, my father and I were talking about a very similar thing just last week; he remembered going to see the World Cup years ago when it was shown to an audience at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. He managed to get out of the building before any rioting began when the transmission cut off in the middle of the game. I imagine that similar problems could arise here in Japan: the games will be broadcast during Typhoon season, when satellite TV reception can easily be washed out.

In the meantime, as far as actual movies are concerned, there are very few summer blockbusters opening on time in Japan, as is custom; for some reason, Japan is almost always the very last country to see films open. The DaVinci Code opened the same as elsewhere (and is still selling big), but M:I:3 is not opening here until July, Over the Hedge is not coming until early August, the late-June Superman Returns shows up in Japan in mid-August, and X-Men 3 is delayed until mid-September. The second Pirates of the Caribbean film is delayed, though only by three weeks. The delays are not caused by translation schedules, it has to do with the vacation season coming in August–though that does not explain July and September releases.

There are some beneficial effects of this phenomenon, however: Miami Vice: The Movie is not on the schedule at all. Thanks be to Merciful Allah.

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  1. Paul
    May 28th, 2006 at 16:51 | #1

    Are the futbol games being shown on satellite/cable TV?

    And I have a feeling that the Miami Vice movie might be kinda cool. I was going to see X Men 3 tonight, but didn’t finish re-watching X Men 2 on DVD so I put it off until I could finish catching up.

    Seattle, WA

  2. Luis
    May 28th, 2006 at 17:02 | #2

    Hard to say who has it. NHK says they have domestic rights, but SkyPerfect is advertising it as well. You can be sure of one thing, though: it will be broadcast here. Japan went nuts for soccer about a decade ago.

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