As Karina highlights discussions of racism and beastiality surroundingKing Kong, the 50-foot-tall gorilla prepares to invade Japan. The film opens Saturday in Japan on 800 screens. Even with no press screenings in Japan, the film's distrib is aiming for $84 million box office there, a watermark no other film has reached this year. King Kong is such a well-known figure in Japan - 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla was a huge hit there - distribs figure they don't need to introduce him to the Japanese audience as they would a new character. Kong has already had strong openings in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
Here's the more interesting question - how will Japanese audiences react to the blatant sexuality between Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts) and the 50-foot ape? I'm guessing they'll be less phased by it than American audiences; the Japanese media culture in general is much more open about sexuality than America (hence the proliferation of anime featuring half-naked, busty women and teenage girls in short-short schoolgirl uniforms).
And even more importantly - if Kong is a mega-hit in Japan, will director Peter Jackson decide to remake King Kong vs Godzilla? Who wants to see Jackson's vision of a kick-ass knockdown-drag out between the 50 foot ape and the baddest giant lizard to ever stomp out of the ocean and terrorize Tokyo?