The earthquake on March 11 has had a negative impact on the country's movie industry. Some prints of foreign movies were unable to to arrive at theaters as scheduled. Although modern movie theaters can project digital prints distributed on USB memory sticks, theaters in regional areas do not yet possess the technology to do so. Traditional prints can weigh between 20 and 30 kilograms per reel and must be distributed by truck.
In addition, distribution problems and fuel shortages have resulted in confusion among cinema chains, causing the postponement of the release of movies such as "The Rite" in Japan, with further delays anticipated. Warner Bros, for example, has been unable to deliver prints of "The Rite" to up to 280 movie theaters nationwide due to shipping difficulties and is unable to give an expected delivery date.
Warner Bros earlier this week pulled the film "Hereafter" from theaters because it featured tsunami scenes. "The Rite" was scheduled to open this coming weekend. It stars Anthony Hopkins, 73, as a priest who battles the devil in the heart of the Roman Catholic Church. The movie contains morbid imagery which Warner Bros fears may be particularly upsetting for moviegoers in light of recent events.
Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures, distributor of the hit Coen brothers movie "True Grit," has also announced that it is currently in talks with shipping companies in an attempt to determine whether or not it will meet its proposed March 18 release date.© Japan Today