A Kinder, Softer Movie

Disney hopes to sell Japan a revised Pearl Harbor

Flashbulbs popped and schoolgirls screamed as Ben Affleck appeared from behind a plume of smoke in the middle of the Tokyo Dome. "I love you, Ben!" someone shrilled. Affleck winked, and the crowd of 30,000 went wild.

This was the gala Tokyo premiere last Thursday of the movie Pearl Harbor, which will open in theaters across Japan on July 14. Walt Disney Co. hopes the film will make close to $100 million in box-office receipts in Japan, which would help its bottom line after a relatively disappointing box office in the U.S., and explains why the company is spending a record...

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