The recently released Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu movie attained the #7 spot in the Japanese nation-wide box office during its opening weekend, an exceedingly impressive figure for an otaku oriented anime film, although not nearly as high as last year’s incredible Evangelion 2.0’s debut at #1.
What makes Shoushitsu’s ranking especially notable is the number of theatres in which it was shown in comparison to the other “normal” films making an appearance on the Top 10 for the last weekend’s Box Office receipts:
Japan Box Office Ranking Feb 6 – 7
Ranking / Movie Title / # of Theatres
1. Avatar (365)
2. Oceans (302)
3. Otouto (303)
4. Invictus (320)
5. Golden Slumber (308)
6. Samurai Sentai Shinkenger vs. Go-onger: GinmakuBang!! (140)
7. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (24)
8. The Lovely Bones (305)
9. Sayonara Itsuka (184)
10. Paranormal Activity (160)
For comparison, the two other best performing otaku films since last summer were Macross Frontier ~Itsuwari no Utahime~ with a debut at #9 at 30 theatres in September, and the all-conquering Evangelion 2.0 juggernaut with a lofty #1 debut at 120 theatres in June.
It should be noted that while these figures are impressive enough in and of themselves, such anime films lie far behind the numbers reached by mainstream fare such as the monolithic Miyazaki’s offerings or even child-oriented anime movies such as Pokémon – indeed, last year’s Pokémon Arceus outsold even Evangelion 2.0’s annual ticket proceeds by ¥4.4 billion to Eva’s ¥3.6.
Nonetheless, the fact that titles so heavily marketed towards otaku such as Evangelion, Haruhi and Macross can rub shoulders alongside traditional Hollywood hits high ontop Japan’s Box Office should stand testament to the reach of Akiba.
Via Movie Walker.