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AJA Industry Report: 6.5% Fewer TV Anime Produced in 2020

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Anime films earned 61.7 billion yen in 2020

The Association of Japanese Animations (AJA) released some preliminary Anime Industry Report 2020 findings on Monday. The report found that there were a total of 98,448 minutes of television anime produced in 2020, 6.5% fewer than 2019's 105,294, and the second consecutive reduction since 2018.

63,156 of those minutes in 2020 television anime are original productions (mostly late night anime), while 35,292 are from ongoing franchises (children or family anime, or long-running series). The latter had a particularly marked 18.7% reduction from 2019, where the category recorded 43,418 minutes of production that year.

The report speculated that the ongoing new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is the likely cause for the fewer minutes of production. There have been many cases of 2020 projects not meeting deadlines and/or delaying planned 2020 premieres to 2021.

The total box office gross for anime films in 2020 was 61.7 billion yen (about US$563 million), down 10.8% from 2019's 69.2 billion yen (about US$632 million). Yet the decrease was not as drastic as the previous drop from 2016 (66.4 billion yen) to 2017 (41.1 billion yen), only rising slightly in 2018 (42.6 billion yen). Due to this, 2020, 2019, and 2016 form three high watermarks for anime film box office gross in the past five years, with 2019 having the highest gross at least since 2000.

The report cautioned that the effect of the Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train runaway hit had an outsized effect in 2020, as many other anime films were delayed throughout the year; only 66 anime films opened in 2020 (including short films), a large drop from 2019's 90 films.

The top 20 highest-earning anime films in Japan in 2020 are as follows:

  1. Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train: 40 billion yen
  2. Doraemon the Movie: Nobita's New Dinosaur: 3.35 billion yen
  3. Stand By Me Doraemon 2: 3 billion yen
  4. Poupelle of Chimney Town: 2.3 billion yen
  5. Violet Evergarden: The Movie: 2.14 billion yen
  6. Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel III. spring song: 2 billion yen
  7. Pocket Monster Koko: 1.7 billion yen
  8. Eiga Crayon Shin-chan Gekitotsu! Rakuga Kingdom to Hobo Yonin no Yūsha: 1.2 billion yen
  9. Spirited Away: 880 million yen
  10. Princess Mononoke: 880 million yen
  11. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: 730 million yen
  12. Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul: 650 million yen
  13. Fate/Grand Order The Movie Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot - Wandering: Agateram: 440 million yen
  14. Shirobako: 404 million yen
  15. Eiga Precure Miracle Leap: Minna to Fushigi na 1-nichi: 400 million yen
  16. Looking for Magical DoReMi: 300 million yen
  17. Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna: 300 million yen
  18. King of Prism All Stars: Prism Show Best 10: 180 million yen
  19. Tales from Earthsea: 150 million yen
  20. Monster Strike The Movie: Lucifer Zetsubō no Yoake 140 million yen

Sources: AJA, Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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