The much-anticipated Jujutsu Kaisen 0 anime movie has finally arrived in US theaters this week. Early reports suggest it had an exciting opening weekend, with box office analysts estimating it grossed $17.6 million, making it the second most popular movie of the weekend, after Batman. That’s an amazing feat, and these box office numbers show how the anime went from being a rare curiosity to being serious at the box office.
It was originally named after the Tokyo Metropolitan School of Art. Jujutsu Kisen 0 It is based on the manga written by Jig Akutami. Before the events of the hit anime, the film tells the story of Yuta Okkotsu, a young man who is sent to a school of magic after acquiring a strong but dangerous spirit. School officials hope that this teaching will allow Yuta to control his powers, while allowing them to monitor him.
Historically, anime films have not done well in ticket office American. Even what are now considered classics have had horrific results in the United States. The great works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli may be lauded and sold out in theaters when rebroadcast today, but in the initial release they were mostly overlooked. Princess Mononoke, for example, since 1999 has made just $2.2 million during its first eight weeks in cinemas. Spirited Away, often considered the perfect Ghibli movie, fared no better, making only about $450,000 in its opening weekend in 2002. In fact, the movie didn’t get much attention until it won the award. Best Animated Feature at the 2003 Academy Awards.
The only movies that broke this trend were the Pokémon movies. Thanks to the popularity of video games and dubbing, the films were successful at the box office. The 1999 Pokémon brought in $31 million in its opening weekend, and its sequel, Pokémon 2000, brought in more than $19 million in its opening weekend.
However, over time, animated films became better at the box office. For example, 2015’s Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ made more than $2 million during its opening weekend alone. And of course, 2020’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train boosted anime cinema into the American consciousness, grossing over $19.5 million in its opening weekend and setting a record for Best Anime. The opening for a foreign language film released in North America in this process.
However, it is worth noting that animated films not only make more money. They’re also getting more flashy premieres, which shows that the anime as a whole has grown in popularity. For example, the first Ghibli films were released only in a few Art House theaters, and Spirited Away was shown only in 26 venues, a far cry from Jujutsu Kaisen 0’s 2,336 theaters. Most other animated films were released only as events. Especially, with limited shows and short engagements rather than full theatrical releases.
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