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TOKYO Foreign multiplex construction has helped push the number of theaters in Japan over the 2,000 mark for the first time in 11 years, but overall box office figures dropped by 5.5% in 1999 to tally 182.8 billion yen ($1.74 billion).
Part of the drop, of course, is due to the now well-known "Titanic" effect, when attendance soared during that picture's historic run in 1998.
Meanwhile, the number of theaters shot up to 2,221 by the end of 1999 as foreign multiplex companies such as Warner Mycal, AMC, Virgin and UCI grabbed about a 20% share of the exhibition market in the world's second largest movie market, the Japan Motion Pictures Producers Assn. is …