New Films Hold Most of Japanese Box Office Top 10, But No New Anime Films
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
For the first time since March, most of Japan's box office top 10 this past weekend were newly released films. The anime films Weathering With You and Akira, as well as the live-acition films Parasite and Ichido Shinde Mita, were the only films that had opened prior to Japan's state of emergency in April. The rest of the top 10 films opened within the past six weeks.
Japanese theater chains began to shut down in March due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Box office performance fell 90% by the first week of April compared to the same period last year, and all theaters closed by mid-April after Japan declared a nationwide state of emergency. 100 theaters reopened in Japan six weeks ago.
Makoto Shinkai's Weathering With You film dropped from #5 to #7. The film opened in 359 theaters and 448 screens in Japan last July. It became the #7 highest-earning domestic film of all time in Japan and was the highest-grossing film in Japan in 2019.
The film centers on a runaway high school boy named Hodoka. He ends up working at an occult magazine in Tokyo to support himself. One day, Hodoka meets a girl who can control the weather, and they start a new business together.
The film debuted in North America on January 15 and ranked at #2 at the box office in North America in its first two days. The film had earned an estimated total of US$6,552,876 in North America as of January 26.
The 4K remaster of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira anime film dropped from #7 to #10. The film ranked at #9 when theaters began to reopen five weeks ago. The film opened in 36 Japanese IMAX theaters on April 3. The anime was originally scheduled to debut at Tokyo Anime Award Festival (TAAF) 2020 event on March 14, but organizers cancelled the event due to COVID-19. The 4K remaster will also receive a release in the United States.