Shirobako Drops to #8, Wotakoi Stays at #9 at Sharply Lower Japanese Box Office

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
73% less moviegoers, box office earnings this past weekend than same weekend last year

The top 15 films at the Japanese box office this past weekend had about 73% less moviegoers and box office earnings than the top 15 films in the same weekend last year. That weekend last year featured Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's Chronicle of the Moon Exploration, Captain Marvel, Precure Miracle Universe, and Tonde Saitama.

Due to concerns over the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Japanese distributors have delayed the release of such films as Shimajirō to Sora Tobu Fune (Shimajirō and the Flying Ship), Eiga Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Kyoryū, (Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's New Dinosaur), Gekijō-ban Ultraman Taiga: New Gene Climax (Ultraman Taiga The Movie: New Generation Climax), Eiga Precure Miracle Leap: Minna to Fushigi na 1-nichi (Everyone and the Mysterious 1 Day), and Onward. They have also delayed the release of the upcoming films Dolittle, Sonic the Hedgehog, Little Women, No Time to Die, Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II, and Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

The Shirobako (Gekijō-ban Shirobako) sequel anime film dropped from #6 to #8 in its third weekend. The film earned 23,572,700 yen (about US$221,400) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 278,554,100 yen (about US$2.61 million).

The film sold 84,000 tickets to rank at #3 in ticket sales in its opening weekend. However, it earned 115 million yen (about US$1.05 million) to rank at #2 in actual yen earned that weekend — 3 million yen more (about US$30,000) than Stolen Identity 2 (SmaPho o Otoshita Dake Nanoni: Toraware no Satsujinki) due to its higher ticket prices. The film opened in 158 theaters in Japan on February 29. The website had projected that the film will earn 1 billion yen (about US$9.23 million) or higher.

The film's story is set four years after the events of the original Shirobako anime. Aoi Miyamori keeps busy dealing with the ordinary troubles in her daily work at Musashino Animation. After a morning meeting, Watanabe talks to Aoi and puts her in charge of a new theatrical anime project for the studio. The project has unexpected problems, and Aoi is unsure if the company can proceed with a theatrical anime with its current state of affairs. While dealing with that anxiety, Aoi meets a new colleague named Kaede Miyai (voiced by Ayane Sakura). She and the MusAni team work together to complete the project.

The returning staff includes director Tsutomu Mizushima, animation studio P.A. Works, series script supervisor Michiko Yokote, character designer Ponkan8, animation character designer and chief animation director Kanami Sekiguchi, and production company Infinite.

The live-action film of Fujita's Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku (Otaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii) manga stayed at #9 in its sixth weekend. The film earned 19,348,050 yen (about US$181,600) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 1,259,409,150 yen (about US$11.82 million).

The film debuted at #1 in its opening weekend. The film sold 169,000 tickets for 229,400,150 yen (about US$2.08 million) from Saturday to Sunday, and sold over 220,000 tickets for over 300 million yen (about US$2.73 million) from Friday to Sunday. The film opened on February 7 in 304 screens. The film earned 18% more in its opening weekend than the live-action The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. film, which also starred Kento Yamazaki and was directed by Yūichi Fukuda.

The website had projected that the film will eventually earn more than 1.5 billion yen (about US$13.66 million). Pia's exit poll of filmgoers on opening day reported a satisfaction rating of 83.9 from a survey sample of 85 people.

The manga inspired an 11-episode television anime that premiered in April 2018. The anime streamed on Amazon Prime Video inside and outside of Japan.

Kamen Rider Zi-O Next Time: Geiz, Majesty dropped from #1 to #3 on the mini-theater chart in its third weekend.

Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi: Propose-Hen (The World's Greatest First Love: Proposal Arc), the new anime based on Shungiku Nakamura's The World's Greatest First Love: The Case of Ritsu Onodera boys-love manga, dropped from #3 to #4 in the mini-theater ranking in its fourth weekend. The film opened in Japan on February 21, and more theaters will begin screening the film starting March 20.

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

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