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Jujutsu Kaisen 0 Jujutsu Kaisen 0

At the end of last year, we reported that anime films occupied the top three slots in Japan’s box-office ranking for 2021. If Jujutsu Kaisen 0 had come out a bit earlier, we’d definitely be talking about the top four slots.

The film has got off to a spectacular start in Japan, where it opened on December 24. It has grossed 5.87 billion yen (USD$50.6 million) in 11 days — more than all but those top three films managed in the whole of 2021. (Of course, most of its second weekend was in 2022, and we don’t have data on how much it earned in the 2021 portion of its run.)

In its first three days, Jujutsu Kaisen 0 grossed 2.69B yen. Only one film has ever managed a stronger opening in the country: Demon Slayer — Kimetsu no Yaiba — The Movie: Mugen Train, which took 4.62B yen in its first three days in October 2020. The anime feature went on to become the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, with a cume of around 40.43B yen.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 is also outpacing last year’s top-grossing film in Japan, Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time. That film had “only” managed 4.93B yen after 14 days. It ended its run with 10.28B yen.

The Omicron wave hasn’t really hit Japan, where daily Covid cases are currently in the hundreds. Cinemas are operating without restrictions (they were last shut in some parts of the country in spring 2021, amid a spike in cases).

In Jujutsu Kaisen 0, high-school student Yuta Okkotsu learns to control the spirit of his late friend Rika, who haunts him. The source material is Gege Akutami’s manga series of the same name, which was serialized — under a different title — in 2017.

The film serves as a prequel to the anime series Jujutsu Kaisen, which is also based on an Akutami manga, and is available on Crunchyroll and HBO Max. Both film and series were helmed by South Korean director Sunghoo Park at Mappa.

Toho is distributing Jujutsu Kaisen 0. No U.S. distributor has been announced.


Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Deputy Editor of Cartoon Brew.