2019 Doraemon Film Opens at #1 at Japanese Box Office
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Eiga Doraemon no Nobita no Getsumen Tansaki (Doraemon the Movie: Chronicle of the Moon Exploration), the Doraemon franchise's 39th film, sold 645,000 tickets for 757 million yen (about US$6.77 million) to top the Japanese box office in its opening weekend. The film opened on 382 screens in Japan on Friday.
The figures include 586,000 tickets for 696 million yen (about US$6.23 million) on Saturday and Sunday, which represents 82.6% of the earnings from last year's Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Takarajima film in its opening weekend. Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Takarajima holds the record as the highest-grossing film in the current 14-installment Doraemon film series after earning a total of 5.37 billion yen (about US$48.1 million) at the box office. Each Doraemon film in the past three years has set a new franchise box-office record.
The film's story relates to the Japanese folkloric belief that a rabbit resides on the moon. The film is set on the moon and centers on strong friendships bound together by the "ability to believe." Luna is a mysterious girl who lives on the far side of the moon. Diabolo and his subordinate Goddard stand in the way of Nobita and his friends on their moon exploration journey.
Shinnosuke Yakuwa (Doraemon the Movie: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016, Doraemon the Movie: Nobita in the New Haunts of Evil - Peko and the Five Explore) directed the film, which is his first work directing from an original script. Naoki Prize-winning mystery author Midzuki Tsujimura (Tsunagu, Kagami no Kojō) wrote the script, and she also wrote a novel adaptation, which debuted on November 16.
The live-action film adaptation of Mineo Maya's Tonde Saitama (Fly Me to Saitama) manga sold 204,770 tickets on Saturday and Sunday for 280,558,300 yen (about US$2.51 million) to rank at #2 at the box office. The number of tickets the film sold increased by 7.2% compared to the previous weekend, and its earnings increased by 8.3%. Since opening on February 22, the film has sold a total of 739,000 tickets for 958,207,800 yen (about US$8.58 million). The film is expected to surpass 3 billion yen (about US$26.8 million) at the box office.
The film sold 191,000 tickets for 259,038,800 yen (about US$2.33 million) on Saturday and Sunday to top the Japanese box office in its opening weekend.
Hideki Takeuchi (live-action Nodame Cantabile, Thermae Romae) directed the film, and Tomokazu Tokunaga (live-action Densha Otoko) wrote the script. Hanawa performed the film's theme song "Saitama-ken no Uta" (The Song of Saitama Prefecture).
There are two parts to the film: a "legend part" that focuses on Rei and Momomi, and a "modern part" that focuses on a certain Saitama family through whom the legend is told.
In the story, those who live in Saitama Prefecture are ruthlessly persecuted by those who live in Tokyo, so the citizens of Saitama Prefecture hide this fact from others. High school student Momomi Dannoura is the son of the governor of Tokyo, and he is also the student council president at Hokuhodo Academy, the top high school in Tokyo. One day, he meets Rei Asami, a mysterious transfer student who has returned from America. Rei and Momomi are captivated by each other, but Momomi knows Rei is from Saitama Prefecture. The manga tells the story of two people split by a prefectural border, a Saitama "Romeo and Juliet." The couple try to elope and start a revolution to liberate Saitama Prefecture.
Alita: Battle Angel — James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez's live-action film of Yukito Kishiro's Battle Angel Alita (GUNNM) manga —earned 125,829,600 yen (about US$1.13 million) from Friday to Sunday to rank at #5. The film sold 212,630 tickets from Friday to Sunday to earn 342,731,800 million yen (about US$3.09 million) in its first weekend after opening in Japan on February 22.
The film opened in early February in the U.K. and in several countries in Asia before the film's U.S. debut on February 14. Entertainment industry magazine Variety reported on Sunday that the film has earned an estimated US$72.5 million in the United States and US$278.2 million overseas, for a worldwide total of US$350.7 million.
The film has earned the equivalent of US$112.1 million in China as of its second weekend in the country. The film earned US$24.2 to rank #2 in China in its second weekend. The film earned the equivalent of US$62.3 million in China in its opening weekend. The film opened in China on February 22.
The movie has a reported production budget of US$200 million (US$170 million after tax credits). Deadline stated its sources are estimating the film will earn a final total of more than US$400 million worldwide. The site had stated earlier this week that Fox has said the number the film needs to make to break even is US$350-US$400 million, but Deadline added "other finance film sources with knowledge of the budget" state that number at US$500 million or more.
The movie stars Rosa Salazar (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, Man Seeking Woman) in motion capture as Alita. Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City, Spy Kids) directed the film. James Cameron and his Lightstorm Entertainment partner Jon Landau produced the project, and Shutter Island's Laeta Kalogridis penned a script. Singer-songwriter Dua Lipa performed a new song titled "Swan Song" for the film.
City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes, the new anime film adaptation of Tsukasa Hojo's City Hunter manga, dropped from #8 to #9 in its fourth weekend. The film earned 91,330,200 yen (about US$817,000) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 1,201,016,700 yen (about US$10.7 million).
Director Kenji Kodama, who has directed most of the previous City Hunter anime, returned as the chief director. Yoichi Kato (Aikatsu!, Yōkai Watch, Monster Strike the Animation) penned the script. Kumiko Takahashi (Birdy the Mighty, Card Captor Sakura) was the character designer and Taku Iwasaki (Gurren Lagann, Gatchaman Crowds) composed the music. Sunrise animated the film. TM Network's song "Get Wild," the ending theme song for the first City Hunter television anime, was also the ending song for the film.
The new film moves the setting to present-day Shinjuku.
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