Animated films dominate the box office


By now, it’s no secret that promoting popular intellectual properties is like a license to print money. In a pop culture landscape dominated by Disney properties, audiences have turned to Eastern animation as an alternative. Japanese anime and manga have garnered a massive and loyal fanbase in the United States since the 1960s. As a result, popular anime series movies began to dominate the box office. For instance, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero recently opened at number one with a box office of $20 million. The film even knocked down the star power of Idris Elba to claim the top spot.

Why are animated films so popular?

As mentioned earlier, anime has slowly but surely built up a huge fanbase in the west since the 1960s. Early exports like speed racer and Astro Boy became fan favorites when most viewers didn’t know what the anime was. Fast forward a few decades to the 80s, Fist of the North Star and the original dragonball popular audiences.

Then, in 1997, Cartoon Network launched Toonami, a two-hour weekday afternoon block that showed cartoons exclusively. It featured heavy hitters such as the follow-up to Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Rurouni Kenshin. Toonami’s original run laid the groundwork for millennial pop culture powerhouse anime. These days, it’s common to see references to anime in popular culture.

The continued success of animated films at the box office

No one should be surprised by Superheroes Hit. The trend of box office animated movies started with Dragon Ball Super: Broly. The film debuted in the west in January 2018, a month of release where films fail and die. However, the film reported over $30 million at the box office in the United States and Canada.

Then, in 2021, another resounding success arrived as the world began to open up again. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train grossed $21 million during the opening weekend of the box office. It instantly set the record for the biggest first foreign language film in the United States. And eventually set the record for the highest-grossing animated film of all time, earn over $450 million.

At present, One Piece: Film Rouge spend your day in the sun in japan. It has earned more than 10 billion yen at the Japanese box office so far, which is about $73 million. The upcoming western release has anime fans chomping at the bit to boost that earnings ratio. It’s no longer surprising when you see animated movies making massive numbers at the box office.

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