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Japan's Box Office Dropped 45% in 2020, With Demon Slayer Accounting for 1/4 of Total

posted on by Alex Mateo
7 anime topped 1 billion yen at box office, including Violet Evergarden, Fate/stay night, My Hero Academia

The Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (MPPA) announced the 2020 National Film Overview, a summary of Japan's box office from last year, on Wednesday.

The number of movie theater attendees in 2020 was 106.137 million, which is down 45.5% from 2019. Box office revenue was 143.285 billion yen (about US$1.4 billion), which is down 45.1% from 2019. The data reflects the effects of restricted seating and movie theater closures.

The box office revenues for overseas films in Japan was 34.009 billion yen (about US$327 million), a decrease of 71.4% from 2019. Japanese movies' revenues decreased by 23.1% from 2019 to 109.276 billion yen (about US$1 billion). The ratio of Japanese movie revenues to the total rose from 54.4% in 2019 to 76.3% in 2020.

Much of the Japanese film industry's box office revenues from 2020 came from the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train anime, which has earned 36.5 billion yen (about US$351.7 million) and has sold 26.67 million tickets as of Sunday. The film's revenue accounted for a fourth of the overall box office total in Japan last year, and a third of the Japanese films' box office total.

Box office revenues of anime films in 2020 exceeded 50 billion yen (about US$481 million), or about a third of Japan's overall box office total. Seven anime films each exceeded one billion yen (about US$9.7 million) at the box office. These films, and their sales ranking and revenue among Japanese films in 2020, are:

In addition, the following live-action films based on manga also each exceeded one billion yen:

Four overseas movies each exceeded one billion yen in Japan last year: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Parasite, Tenet, and Cats.

1,017 movies opened in Japan in 2020, which is a decrease of 20% from 2019. Of this number, 506 Japanese movies opened (compared to 689 in 2019), and 511 overseas movies opened (compared to 589 in 2019) in Japan.

The MPPA usually presents the information at a press conference, but due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the Japanese government's declaration of a state of emergency, it instead posted the information on its website. According to the Animation Business Journal, the data reflects the impact of COVID-19 on the film industry in 2020.

Sources: Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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