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38th Doraemon Film Tops Box Office With 843 Million Yen

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Bungo Stray Dogs film opened #7, live-action Principal at #8

Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Takarajima (Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Treasure Island), the Doraemon franchise's 38th film, opened in 369 theaters last Saturday and sold 717,000 tickets for 843,148,500 yen (about US$8 million). It topped the Japanese box office in its opening weekend. The film earned 22% more than the first weekend of Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Nankyoku Kachi Kochi Daibōken, the previous year's film, which is the highest-earning film in the franchise with around a US$42 million gross, and was the second highest-grossing domestic film in Japan last year.

Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Treasure Island also sold more tickets on Saturday and Sunday than Disney's Black Panther film, which ranked #2 over the two days. (Black Panther opened in Japan two days earlier on Thursday, March 1.)

The latest Doraemon film is inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island novel. In the film's story, Doraemon, Nobita, Shizuka, Gian, and Suneo set out on an adventure in the Caribbean Sea. Nobita is the captain of a ship and fights his enemies on board. Shizuka gets kidnapped, and a storm impedes their journey. Mini-Dora robots help Nobita and friends on their journey. When the adventurers finally find the mysterious Treasure Island, they discover it is more than just an ordinary island.

The Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple anime film earned 78,002,000 yen (about US$740,000) to rank #7 in its first official weekend. It has a total of 86,688,808 yen (about US$820,900). The film opened on Saturday in 74 theaters.

Kafka Asagiri and Sango Harukawa's original Bungo Stray Dogs manga centers around a league of literary figures with supernatural powers. For example, in real life, Ryūnosuke Akutagawa wrote acclaimed stories that inspired Akira Kurosawa's Rashōmon film and the Aoi Bungaku Series anime's Jigoku Hen (Hell Screen) arc. In Bungo Stray Dogs, he has the power to transform and manipulate his cloak into a monster-like entity. Together, some of these writers solve mysteries as part of the "Armed Detective Agency," while others appear as antagonists.

The film's story involves a mystery case of power users around the world suddenly committing suicide one after another, in all cases after a strange fog appears at the scene. At a request from Ango Sakaguchi, the Armed Detective Agency head out to investigate Tatsuhiko Shibusawa, a power user who calls himself "collector," and a man suspected of being tied to the incident.

The live-action film adaptation of Ryo Ikuemi's Principal manga earned 73,661,280 yen (about US$697,500) to rank #8 in its first weekend. The film opened on Saturday in 163 theaters.

Tetsuo Shinohara directed the film, with a script by Yukiko Mochiji. The movie was filmed entirely in Hokkaido. The film stars Yuina Kuroshima, Nozomu Kotaki, and Mahiro Takasugi.

The manga centers on Shima Sumitomo. Shunned in her school in Tokyo, and with attempts at befriending her third stepfather failing, she decides to move in with her natural father in Sapporo, Hokkaido. There, in her new high school, she meets two handsome men named Gen Tatebayashi and Wao Sakurai, though it seems like the more she gets close to them, the more she is shunned again.

P.A. Works, Showgate, and Mari Okada's Sayonara no Asa ni Yakusoku no Hana o Kazarō (Maquia - When the Promised Flower Blooms ) anime film dropped from #5 to #10, and earned 33,109,300 yen (about US$313,500) from Friday to Sunday. It has earned a cumulative total of 128,884,400 yen (about US$1.22 million). The film sold 32,000 tickets in 76 theaters to earn 48 million yen (about US$450,240) in its opening weekend.

The story begins with Maquia, who is from a family where all the members stop aging in their mid teens. She has no parents and, although her days are peaceful, she feels lonely. Their peace is shattered when an army invades, seeking the secret to her people's immortality. Leilia, the most beautiful girl in her clan, is taken away, and the boy Maquia has secret feelings for disappears. Maquia is able to escape, but she loses her friends and her home. Wandering alone in the forest, she finds Erial, a baby boy who has lost his parents. The story follows the changing relationship between the two as Erial grows up and Maquia does not.

The film is the directorial debut of anime screenwriter Okada (The Anthem of the Heart, anohana). She also wrote the film's scripts at P.A. Works.

The live-action film of Yūya Kanzaki and Arata Miyatsuki's Funōhan (Impossibility Defense) manga fell fell off the top 10 in its fifth weekend. It had ranked #6 during its fourth weekend. The live-action film of Tatsuhiko Yamagami and Mikio Igarashi's Hitsuji no Ki (The Sheep's Tree or The Scythian Lamb) manga also fell off the top 10 in its fifth weekend. It had ranked #7 in its fourth weekend.

Kamen Rider Ex-Aid Trilogy: Another Ending Part III - Kamen Rider Genmu VS Laser, the third film in a trilogy that provides an epilogue to the Kamen Rider Ex-Aid series, ranked at #1 in the mini-theater ranking in its first weekend.

Sources: Variety (Mark Schilling), Eiga.com, Kōgyō Tsūshin (link 2), comScore via KOFIC

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