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39th Doraemon Film Tops Japanese Box Office for 6th Straight Weekend

posted on by Egan Loo
Kimetsu no Yaiba, Prince of Tennis, Laidbackers top mini-theater chart

Eiga Doraemon no Nobita no Getsumen Tansaki (Doraemon the Movie: Chronicle of the Moon Exploration), the Doraemon franchise's 39th film, remained at #1 at the Japanese box office for its sixth consecutive weekend. This is the first film in the current film series to stay at #1 for six straight weeks since the film series began in 2004. The film sold 146,000 tickets for 174,742,000 yen (about US$1.57 million) over the weekend. It has earned a cumulative total of 4,532,025,400 yen (about US$40.7 million) with 3.96 million tickets.

The film opened on 382 screens on March 1 and sold 645,000 tickets for 757 million yen (about US$6.77 million) to top the Japanese box office in its opening weekend. From March 2-3, the film earned 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. Dai Hirai performed the theme song "The Gift."

The live-action film adaptation of Mineo Maya's Tonde Saitama (Fly Me to Saitama) manga stayed at #3 in its seventh week at the box office. The film sold 75,000 tickets for 104,460,000 yen (about US$934,000) over the weekend. It has sold a cumulative total of 2.45 million tickets for 3,167,256,100 yen (about US$28 million).

After opening on February 22, 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. The film is expected to surpass 3 billion yen (about US$26.8 million) at the box office.

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.

Eiga Precure Miracle Universe, the newest movie in the Precure franchise, dropped from #6 to #8 in its fourth weekend. The film earned 44,866,000 yen (about US$403,000) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 821,284,900 yen (about US$7.38 million).

The film ranked #3 in its opening weekend. The film earned about 248 million yen (about US$2.22 million) and sold about 221,000 tickets in its first two days, and has set a record for an opening weekend for a spring Precure film. The film opened in Japan on March 16.

The new Eiga Precure Miracle Universe film is primarily set in space, and the story reveals the secret of the "Miracle Lights," the mysterious critical items which appear frequently in the franchise's films. (The lights are distributed to children attending theatrical screenings.) Characters from Kirakira ☆ Precure a la Mode, Hugtto! Precure, and the new Star ☆ Twinkle Precure anime star in the film.

Yukio Kaizawa, who co-directed the Kirakira ☆ Precure a la Mode series, returned to direct the film. Isao Murayama (Eiga Kirakira ☆ Precure a la Mode: Paris to! Omoide no Mille-Feuille!, Maho Girls Precure) penned the script. Yuki Hayashi (My Hero Academia) and Asami Tachibana (DARLING in the FRANXX) composed the music.

The Eiga no Osomatsu-san anime film dropped from #10 off the chart in its fourth weekend. The film earned 30,480,800 yen (about US$274,000) from Friday to Sunday, and has cumulatively earned 518,369,500 yen (about US$4.66 million).

The film ranked at #7 in its opening weekend. The film opened in Japan on March 15.

The film centers on the sextuplets at a high school class reunion. There, they see all their former classmates who have become "proper" adults with company jobs. The sextuplets sulk about this and go home and drink until they fall asleep. But when they wake up, a certain scene awaits them.

The film's returning staff members include director Yoichi Fujita, scriptwriter Shū Matsubara, character designer Naoyuki Asano, and Studio Pierrot on animation production. Shochiku is distributing the movie. The film will also include returning cast members.

Kimetsu no Yaiba: Kyōdai no Kizuna (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: The Bonds of Siblings), the theatrical version of the first five episodes of the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba television anime, stayed at #1 in the mini-theater rankings in its second weekend. This version opened in 11 theaters in Japan on March 29, and will screen for two weeks.

Aniplex of America hosted the United States premiere of the theatrical version at the Aratani Theatre in Los Angeles on March 31. The television version premiered on April 6 at 11:30 p.m., and is airing on 20 total channels including Tokyo MX, Gunma TV, Tochigi TV, and BS11.

The anime is based on Koyoharu Gotouge's manga of the same name. The manga debuted in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in February 2016, and Shueisha published the manga's 14th volume on January 4, and it shipped the 15th volume on April 4.

Viz Media is publishing the manga digitally and in print, and it describes the story:

Since ancient times, rumors have abounded of man-eating demons lurking in the woods. Because of this, the local townsfolk never venture outside at night. Legend has it that a demon slayer also roams the night, hunting down these bloodthirsty demons. For young Tanjiro, these rumors will soon to become his harsh reality…
Ever since the death of his father, Tanjiro has taken it upon himself to support his family. Although their lives may be hardened by tragedy, they've found happiness. But that ephemeral warmth is shattered one day when Tanjiro finds his family slaughtered and the lone survivor, his sister Nezuko, turned into a demon. To his surprise, however, Nezuko still shows signs of human emotion and thought… Thus begins Tanjiro's request to fight demons and turn his sister human again.

Tennis no Ōjisama BEST GAMES!! Inui-Kaidō vs Shishido-Otori/Oishi-Kikumaru vs Niō-Yagyū (The Prince of Tennis Best Games!! Inui-Kaidō vs Shishido-Otori/Oishi-Kikumaru vs Niō-Yagyū), the second episode in the Tennis no Ōjisama BEST GAMES!! original video anime (OVA) project, ranked #2 on the mini-theater chart, while Studio Gokumi's Laidbackers anime film ranked #3.

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

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