The First Slam Dunk The First Slam Dunk

James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar: The Way of Water may have overtaken cinemas in most of the world this past weekend, but Japanese audiences still turned out in larger numbers for The First Slam Dunk, now in its third week in theaters, and Shinkai Makoto’s Suzume.

Avatar was released on 1,466 screens across Japan, a record for the country, but was unable to take the top spot despite earning 477 million yen ($3.48 million) on 259,000 admissions. The First Slam Dunk grossed 547 million yen ($4 million) on 365,000 admissions. It has now reached 4.2 billion yen ($30.5 million) on 2.81 million admissions, making it the sixth highest-grossing Japanese film of 2022 at the domestic box office.

The First Slam Dunk is the feature film adaptation of Takehiko Inoue’s basketball-themed sports manga Slam Dunk, which was a smash hit in the 1990s. The manga was previously adapted as an animated television series by Toei and aired from October 1993 to March 1996. The feature adaptation is directed by Inoue and produced by Toei Animation and Dandelion Animation Studio, with Toei also handling distribution.

In Japan, where box office charts are rated by admissions rather than box office revenues, Avatar also finished behind Shinkai Makoto’s Suzume, despite a higher weekend gross. Suzume came out way back on November 11 yet managed 414 million yen ($3.01 million) from 316,000 admissions over the weekend. That’s nearly 60,000 more admissions than debutant Avatar accumulated over the same timeframe. Suzume has now grossed 9.344 billion yen ($68.08 million) at the Japanese box office, and analysts in Japan predict it will pass 10 billion yen by the end of the year. It’s currently the third highest-grossing film at the Japanese box office in 2022, behind Top Gun: Maverick ($97.4 million) and One Piece Film: Red ($138.9 million but still in theaters).

Written and directed by Shinkai, Suzume is about a teenage girl on a desperate quest to close Doors of Disaster located all around Japan. Suzume is accompanied on her journey by a boy who has been magically transformed into a chair.

Box office figures were taken from Crunchyroll and Box Office Mojo.

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