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The Laws of the Universe: Part 1 Opens at #1, Natsume Film Falls to #5

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Live-action Perfect World at #8, Monster Strike film at #9

The Laws of the Universe: Part 1, HS Pictures Studio's new anime film sequel to the The Laws of the Universe Part 0 religious anime film, topped the Japanese box office in its opening weekend. The film opened in Japan last Friday on 206 screens, and it sold 134,089 tickets for 166,907,400 yen (about US$1.49 million) from Saturday to Sunday, and 176,210 tickets for 220,113,150 yen (about US$1.96 million) from Friday to Sunday. The film earned 42.4% more in its opening weekend than the previous The Laws of the Universe Part 0 film, and Eiga.com reports that the new film may reach a final total of 1 billion yen (about US$9 million).

Eleven Arts Anime Studio hosted the film's world premiere with an English dub at the Awareness Film Festival in Los Angeles on October 6. The film then premiered theatrically in the United States, Canada, and Japan on October 12. Screenings in the United States and Canada are English-dubbed.

Eleven Arts describes the film's story:

University students, Ray, Anna, Tyler, Halle, and Eisuke are enjoying college life and pursuing their dreams, but in reality, They have a secret mission, to fight against invading Reptilians from outer space. One day, Ray travels back in time to 330 million years ago on Earth, to find his missing friend Tyler who has fallen into a trap set by the evil alien, Dahar. During that time, Alpha, the God of the Earth, was planning to create a new civilization on Earth and invited Queen Zamza and her fellow Reptilian from the planet Zeta, to Earth.

What is the intention of Dahar? What will happen to Ray and Tyler?

And what is “the plan of the God of the Earth"?

Part 1 is the first part of a trilogy. Ryuho Okawa, the founder of the controversial religious organization Happy Science (Kōfuku no Kagaku), is credited with the original work and as the chief production supervisor for the first film. As in Part 0, Isamu Imakake directed Part 1 at HS Pictures Studio, and was also the character designer and chief animation director. Yūichi Mizusawa once again composed the music. Nikkatsu Corporation is distributing the film, with distribution assistance from Tokyo Theatres.

Natsume Yujin-cho the Movie: Ephemeral Bond (Natsume Yūjin-Chō: Utsusemi ni Musubu), the anime film of Yuki Midorikawa's Natsume's Book of Friends (Natsume Yūjin-Chō) manga, dropped from #3 to #5 in its third weekend. The film earned 72,106,500 yen (about US$644,600) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 622,235,540 yen (about US$5.56 million).

The film opened in Japan on September 29. It topped the Japanese box office rankings in its opening weekend, and sold 117,473 tickets to earn 172,144,780 yen (about US$1.5 million). It is projected to eventually earn over 1 billion yen (about US$9 million).

Aniplex of America will screen the film at the Anime NYC convention on Friday, November 16 at 7:45 p.m. EST.

The film features a returning cast. In addition, Kengo Kōra plays Mukuo Tsumura, a young man whom Natsume meets and befriends. Sumi Shimamoto plays Yorie Tsumura, Mukuo's mother. Ayumu Murase plays Daisuke Yūki, Natsume's schoolmate from elementary school. Viking comedy duo member Eiji Kotōge plays Monmonbō, a yōkai who has come to take its name back from Natsume. Viking comedy duo member Mizuki Nishimura plays Roppon-ude, a six-armed yōkai who aims to take Natsume's book.

Midorikawa supervised the film's original story. Animation studio Shuka returned from the television anime's fifth and sixth seasons to animate the film. Takahiro Ōmori again served as chief director, but Hideki Ito was the new director. Sadayuki Murai again handled series composition, Tatsuo Yamada returned for yōkai design, and Makoto Yoshimori again composed the music. Uru performed the film's theme song "remember."

The live-action film of Rie Aruga's Perfect World manga fell from #4 to #8 in its second weekend. The film earned 61,836,600 yen (about US$552,800) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 371,038,200 yen (about US$3.31 million).

Kenji Shibayama (Nagareboshi ga Kienai Uchi ni, Kimi no Suki na Uta) directed the film, and Keiko Kanome (Time Slip Megane, Chibi Maruko-chan) wrote the script. Takefumi Haketa composed the film's music. E-girls performs the film's theme song "Perfect World."

The film stars Sandaime J Soul Brothers and Exile member Takanori Iwata (live-action Crows Explode film, right in visual right) as Itsuki Ayukawa, and Hana Sugisaki (live-action Blade of the Immortal film, left in visual right) plays Tsugumi Kawana.

Kodansha Comics is publishing the manga in English digitally, and it describes the story:

26-year-old Tsugumi Kawana reunites with her first crush from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa, at a get-together between an architecture firm and the interior design company she works at. He sends her heart aflutter, until she realizes he's now disabled, and in a wheelchair. At first she feels she couldn't date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change …

Monster Strike The Movie: Sora no Kanata (Beyond the Sky) 3DCG anime film fell from #1 to #9 in its second weekend. The film earned 54,070,900 yen (about US$483,300) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 364,672,100 yen (about US$3.26 million).

The film opened on October 5. The film sold 115,000 tickets and earned 151 million yen (about US$1.33 million) to top the Japanese box office rankings in its opening weekend.

Alice Hirose (live-action Silver Spoon's Aki Mikage, live-action Hyou-ka's Eru Chitanda) made her voice acting debut in the film as Sora, a mysterious blue-haired girl. Other cast members include Yutaka Nakano, Rica Matsumoto, Mika Doi, Tomokazu Sugita, Nobunaga Shimazaki, and Atsushi Tamaru.

Hiroshi Nishikiori (A Certain Magical Index both seasons and film, Azumanga Daioh, Trinity Seven) directed the film at CG Studio Orange. Takayo Ikami wrote the script. XFlag is credited with production, and Warner Brothers is distributing. Tatsurō Iwamoto returned for the original character designs and Yūichi Tanaka adapted the designs for animation. Eiji Inomoto directed the CG animation. Masaru Yokoyama composed the music and Jin Aketagawa served as the sound director. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed the theme song "Kizunami."

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Memory Snow, The first OVA episode in the Re:Zero franchise, fell off the top 10 in its second weekend. It earned 41,009,300 yen (about US$366,500) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 193,600,300 yen (about US$1.73 million). The film ranked #8 in its opening weekend.

Studio 4°C and Ankama's MFKZ (Mutafukaz) film ranked #4 in the mini-theater rankings in its opening weekend. The film opened in Japan last Friday with a Japanese dub. GKIDS and Fathom Events screened the film at theaters in the United States last Thursday, October 11, and will hold another screening on Tuesday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. local time. Both screenings feature the English dub. In addition, the film has a separate limited theatrical release by GKIDS that began last Friday.

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

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