Detective Conan: The Million-Dollar Pentagram Detective Conan: The Million-Dollar Pentagram

Animation is heating up the box office all over the globe.

Let’s start with Japan, which has a very different animation ecosystem than the United States. In the U.S., when a franchise reaches its third or fourth entry, critics often begin questioning whether a concept has run out of steam or whether further films are necessary. Not so in Japan where film franchises have rich mythologies that spread across different forms of media, and audiences happily turn out annually for beloved characters.

Case in point: Detective Conan (or Case Closed as it has been renamed in the States). The mystery series, about a teenage detective who has been transformed into an elementary school-age child, released the 27th feature in the franchise last weekend.

Directed by Chika Nagaoka, Detective Conan: The Million-Dollar Pentagram launched with a stunning $21.7m in Japan, the second-best theatrical opening of all-time in the country. The only film to have ever opened stronger locally is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train.

The previous film in the Detective Conan series, Black Iron Submarine, is the franchise’s current highest-grosser, having earned just under $90 million in Japan last year.

Animation, in general, is having a hot streak in Japan and has propelled that country’s box office recovery. Last year, the top four grossing films in the country were all animated and this year’s current-highest-grossing film is Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle.

South Korea

Not to be outdone, South Korea delivered a #1 opening for Universal and Dreamworks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4. The film grossed $5.9m in its opening frame and accounted for over half of all movie ticket sales in Korea last weekend. It’s the second-best opening ever for an animated title in Korea.

KFP4 has now grossed over $450 million worldwide and should easily pass the half-billion mark before its global run is over.


In the U.S., KFP4 continued to show strong legs, declining less weekend-to-weekend than any other film in the top 10. It grossed $5.5m in its 6th weekend, lifting its overall domestic cume to $173.7m.

Universal and Dreamworks had an unexpected second film in the top 10, too: a re-release of the twenty-year-old Shrek 2, which came up with $1.4m from 1,512 theaters, for a per-screen average of $962.

To add a little perspective, this is more than the entire runs of any of the three Pixar films – Soul, Luca, Turning Red – that were released theatrically for the first time earlier this year. It’s good reassurance for Dreamworks, which is working on Shrek 5, that the Shrek franchise is still very much a fan favorite that can pull in crowds.