Godzilla Minus One, Takashi Yamazaki‘s new film in TOHO‘s Godzilla franchise, stayed at #1 in its second weekend. The film sold 356,000 tickets for 560,187,210 yen (about US$3.69 million) from Friday to Sunday. The film has sold a total of 1.35 million tickets for a cumulative total of 2,111,655,810 yen (about US$13.91 million).
The film opened in U.S. theaters on December 1 and sold 648,600 tickets for 1,041,193,460 yen (about US$6.93 million) in its first three days in the Japanese box office. The film sold 14.7% more tickets and earned 22.8% more in its first three days than the last live-action Japanese Godzilla film, Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi‘s Shin Godzilla, did in its first three days in 2016.
Godzilla Minus One opened in Japan on November 3, 2023 (“Godzilla Day”), which was the anniversary of the first Godzilla film’s November 3, 1954 release. The new film screened at The Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) as the closing film of this year’s event on November 1.
Ryunosuke Kamiki plays protagonist Kōichi Shikishima, and Minami Hamabe plays heroine Noriko Ōishi. (The two also lead the cast of NHK‘s ongoing weekday morning series Ranman.) Other cast members include Yuki Yamada, Munetaka Aoki, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Sakura Andō, and Kuranosuke Sasaki.
Yamazaki is the director and writer, and is also credited for visual effects. Yamazaki has primarily directed live-action films, including the Always: Sunset on Third Street, Returner, and Parasyte films, but has also directed CG films such as Stand By Me Doraemon.
Eiga Sumikko Gurashi: Tsugihagi Kōjo no Fushigi na Ko (The Mysterious Child of the Makeshift Factory), the third anime film for San-X‘s Sumikko Gurashi franchise, dropped from #2 to #4 in its second weekend in Japan. The film earned 142,026,680 yen (about US$936,100) from Friday to Sunday. The film has sold a total of 330,000 tickets and earned a cumulative total of 423,970,220 yen (about US$2.79 million).
The film opened in Japan on November 3 and sold 192,300 tickets for 242,553,320 yen (about US$1.61 million) in its first three days in the Japanese box office.
Hazumu Sakuta (Neko no Dayan, Uchū Nanchara Kotetsu-kun) directed the third film at Fanworks. Takashi Sumita (Europe Kikaku) returned from the first film to pen the third film’s script. Yoshihiko Inohara and Manami Honjō returned from the first and second film to narrate the third film.
In the third film’s story, the characters find an old building deep in the forest. The building turns out to be a toy factory. They all begin to make toys in the factory, with Shirokuma using his skill to operate the sewing machines, and Penguin? inspecting toys with a magnifying glass. But the factory itself hides something more special.
Sumikko Gurashi debuted in 2012 as slightly negative characters who like to stay in the corner of a room. The characters include “Shirokuma,” a polar bear who is sensitive to cold; “Penguin?” (with a question mark in its name), a penguin who is unsure if it is actually a penguin; “Tonkatsu,” a piece of pork cutlet that was left uneaten; “Neko,” a shy cat; and “Tokage,” who hides his nature as one of the last dinosaurs.
The first anime film, titled Sumikkogurashi – Good to be in the corner, opened in Japan in November 2019. The film eventually sold a total of 1.22 million tickets, and it earned 1.4 billion yen (about US$12.8 million) at the box office in Japan as of February 2020. The film won the award for Best Animation of the Year at the 29th Annual Japan Movie Critics Awards in June 2020.
Eiga Sumikko Gurashi: Aoi Tsukiyo no Mahō no Ko (The Magical Child of the Blue Moonlit Night), the second film, opened in Japan in November 2021, and sold about 200,000 tickets to earn about 250 million yen (about US$2.22 million) in its first three days.
The franchise had its first-ever television anime that premiered its first episode on October 6, and then premiered all five episodes on November 5.
One Piece Film Red‘s one-month encore screening dropped from #3 to #6 in its fourth weekend. The encore screening earned 69,893,120 yen (about US$360,600) from Friday to Sunday. Adding to its original screening from August 6, 2022 to January 29, the film has earned a cumulative total of 20,265,362,790 yen (about US$133 million). It has now surpassed Princess Mononoke as the #7 highest-earning film of all time in Japan (unadjusted for inflation), and the #4 highest-earning anime film in Japan.
The encore screening opened on October 20. The encore screening run ranked at #1 in its first weekend, and sold 122,000 tickets to earn 159,197,710 yen (about US$1.06 million) in its first three days.
The movie has become the franchise‘s highest-selling and highest-earning film installment, in terms of both the number of tickets sold and yen earned at the box office. The film topped Japan’s box office for 2022 in terms of yen earned and tickets sold.
The live-action film of Yumi Tamura‘s Don’t Call It Mystery (Mystery to Iu Nakare or Do not say mystery) manga dropped from #4 to #7 in its ninth weekend. The film earned 55,909,530 yen (about US$368,400) from Friday to Sunday. The film has earned a cumulative total of 4,544,250,040 yen (about US$29.94 million).
The manga follows mystery-solving college student Totonō Kunō. At the beginning of the story, the police bring him in for questioning on suspicion of the murder of his classmate. The film centers on the manga’s “Hiroshima Arc,” which appears in the manga’s second to fourth volumes. The “Hiroshima Arc” begins when Kunō travels to Hiroshima, and gets involved in a fight for the Kariatsumari family’s inheritance.
The film opened on September 15, and sold 609,600 tickets to earn 850,483,760 yen (about US$5.71 million) in its first three days, ranking #1 in its opening weekend. Masaki Suda reprised his role as protagonist Totonō Kunō from the manga’s live-action series.
The encore screening for the Gekijō-ban Utano☆Princesama♪ Maji Love ST☆RISH Tours dropped from #6 to #8 in its fourth weekend. The film earned 50,210,000 yen (about US$330,800) from Friday to Sunday, and has earned a cumulative total of 2,359,516,730 yen (about US$15.54 million).
The encore screening opened in Japan on October 20. The film originally opened in Japan in September 2022.
The film — described as part of a “new theatrical film series” — is entirely composed of concert footage of the ST☆RISH idol group. Noriyasu Agematsu was once again credited as the original creator with Broccoli. Elements Garden composed the music, and A-1 Pictures produced the film. Shochiku is distributing the film.
“Gintama on Theater 2D: Baragaki-hen,” the compilation film of the “Baragaki” (Thorny) arc of the Gintama anime, opened at #9 on Friday. The film earned 41,136,400 yen (about US$271,000) in its first three days.
The compilation is part of the Gintama franchise‘s 20th anniversary celebration, with 2023 being the 20th anniversary of Hideaki Sorachi‘s Gintama manga debuting, and 2026 being the 20th anniversary of the television anime’s premiere. The Yorinuki Gintama-san rerun of the television anime also spawned two “on Theater 2D” compilations in 2012 and 2013.
P.A. Works‘ new original feature-length anime film project Komada – A Whisky Family (Komada Jōryūsho e Yōkoso, literally “Welcome to the Komada Distillery) opened at #10 on Friday. The film earned 39,885,800 yen (about US$262,800) in its first three days.
The film screened in this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival, which was held from June 11-17 in the French town of the same name, as part of the Contrechamp category. It also screened in the Animation section of the 36th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) from October 23 to November 1.
The film centers on Rui Komada, the young head of her ailing family whisky distillery. She took over the distillery after the death of her father. Facing financial difficulty, a divided family, and the aftermath of natural disaster, Rui takes it upon herself to reforge her family’s bonds by reviving the family’s signature Japanese whisky.
Masayuki Yoshihara (The Eccentric Family, Mai no Mahō to Katei no Hi) directed the film at P.A. Works. Yukito Kizawa and Munemasa Nakamoto, who both worked extensively on scripts for the Monogatari series and Sword Art Online franchise, penned the screenplay. Tomomi Takada, a veteran P.A. Works key animator and inbetweener, drew the original character design concepts, while Kousuke Kawazura (The Eccentric Family) designed those characters for animation, while also serving as chief animation director. Tatsuya Katō composed the music. DMM is credited as producer. GAGA Corporation is distributing.
P.A. Works‘ “workplace” series began with Hana-Saku Iroha in 2010, which focused on a hot spring inn. Shirobako followed in 2014, with its focus on the anime industry. Shirobako also spawned a sequel film in 2020. Sakura Quest debuted in 2017, and centered on girls involved in small-town tourism. The aquatope on white sand debuted in 2021, and focused on the aquarium business.