So, why the issue? I mean, the movie is based on an original Japanese work, so wouldn't Japanese audiences be interested in it? Maybe, maybe not-- I found this 2ch thread from April of this year, and people seemed genuinely excited about the film, although at least one pointed out that those who hated Dragon Ball Evolution would probably feel despair at the Astro Boy movie. Another talked about Astro Boy ripoffs in the US after ABC aired the show here in the '60s (sic-- they said ABC, but as user rocketbomber points out in the comments, it was NBC), but interestingly, another commenter points out that Tezuka was inspired in part by Disney's 1940 Pinocchio film.
So what do you think? Why isn't Japan embracing this film? It it just that the target market (kids) are too busy watching Pokemon and Bakugan Brawlers, and the older otaku just aren't into it? Or is it something else?