On December 17th, it was announced that the anime ‘ONE PIECE FILM Z‘ has recorded the most successful opening weekend for a Japanese movie over the past decade.
‘ONE PIECE FILM Z’ is the twelfth movie adaptation of Oda Eiichiro’s hit manga ‘One Piece‘. It opened on the 16th and has attracted more than 1,140,000 viewers and earned 1,372,050,000 Yen ($16,390,509 USD) in just two days. Other movies that opened on the same weekend – such as ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey‘ and ‘Yokai Ningen Bem‘ – had no chance against this long-running franchise.
Moreover there has never been a more successful opening weekend for a Japanese movie since 2001. It beat this year’s strong competition made up of ‘BRAVE HEARTS: UMIZARU‘ and ‘Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo.‘, its own prequel ‘ONE PIECE FILM STRONG WORLD‘ and even the 2004 Studio Ghibli masterpiece ‘Howl’s Moving Castle‘. It’s most likely to become the most successful Japanese movie of 2012 as well.
Similar to its prequel, the distributor prepared 2 million “pirate treasure bags” including a copy of the special “1,000th Volume” Oda had drawn exclusively for the moviegoers of ‘ONE PIECE FILM Z’. However, the opening weekend exceeded all of their expectations and so they already decided to print another 2 million copies in order to keep up with the number of viewers.