THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
January 28, 2021 at 19:11 JST
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie--Mugen Train” became Japan's top-earning film of all time within only about two months of its release. Photo taken in front of a Tokyo cinema in October. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Though movie fans flocked to "Demon Slayer" in 2020, turning it into Japan's highest-grossing film of all time, box office revenue plunged to its lowest level since 2000 when comparable figures became available.
Japan’s 2020 box office earnings totaled a paltry 143.3 billion yen ($1.37 billion), a sharp fall of 117.9 billion yen from the record set in the previous year, according to an announcement on Jan. 27 by the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan Inc. (MPPAJ).
Numerous foreign blockbusters were postponed or pulled due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Approximately 106 million people went to watch movies at theaters in Japan in 2020, a record low since 1955, when records began.
The number of movies released also sank in 2020, down 261 films from the year before to 1,017.
Japanese productions in 2020 made up 76.3 percent of films screened domestically, while foreign films accounted for 23.7 percent, according to the MPPAJ, which comprises four major film companies.
It was the first time Japanese films topped 70 percent since 2000.
One of these, “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie--Mugen Train,” bulldozed its way to the top of the heap to earn more than any other domestic or foreign films.
Only four foreign films have earned more than 1 billion yen from screenings in Japan.
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(2020 BOX OFFICE RANKING)
(1) “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie--Mugen Train” (36.55 billion yen) (still showing)
(2) “Kyo kara Ore wa!! (From today, I!!): The Movie” (5.37 billion yen)
(3) “The Confidenceman JP Princess” (3.84 billion yen)
(4) “Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s New Dinosaur” (3.35 billion yen)
(5) “Jikobukken Kowaimadori (Stigmatized property with scary room layout)” (2.34 billion yen)
(1) “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (7.32 billion yen)
(2) “Parasite” (4.74 billion yen)
(3) “Tenet” (2.73 billion yen)
(4) “Cats” (1.35 billion yen)
Source: Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan Inc.
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