It was Wednesday’s cinema event. The output of Notre Dame is burning about the cathedral fire in 2019? Yes but no. Jean-Jacques Annaud’s new feature film filled theaters, with 270,000 admissions out of 750 copies, but was stung off the head of the box office by another film. And not just any. Jujustu Kaisen 0 has in fact accumulated nearly 300,000 admissions on half as many copies, just under 400. From its first day of operation, it had already collected 110,000 admissions, more than half of which were previews.
Successful manga adaptations
Previews, let’s talk about them. The projection of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 at the Grand Rex in Paris and its crazy atmosphere created controversy and divided fans, as reported BFM-TV. It must also be said that fans of Japanese anime had until now to be satisfied with these previews or occasional screenings to discover their favorite works on the big screen. And no, we’re not talking about Studio Ghibli or Mamoru Hosoda films, but adaptations of successful manga, and more particularly shônen à la One Piece Where dragonball.
“Demon Slayer”, “My Hero Academia”, “Jujutsu Kaisen”… The pass of three
Moreover, the situation has really changed in French theaters with the release of Dragon Ball Super – Broly in 2019. The most recent films of the saga had only been entitled to an event exploitation in CGR cinemas, but Broly comes out on 300 copies for a total of 600,000 entries. The phenomenon Demon Slayer confirmed that Japanese anime has its place in theaters, and even at the top of the box office with 730,000 admissions on 400 prints. The film, The Infinity Trainis the biggest hit of all time in Japan, ahead of Le Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki. The sequence of releases, too, made it possible to realize that something was really going on, with also the 250,000 entries for My Hero Academia: World Heroes Mission last January.
The success of Jujutsu Kaisen in the cinema is therefore less a surprise than a confirmation. A confirmation that the fans exist, are numerous, and are mobilizing. They are a general public, the general public. Before this first film, Jujutsu Kaisen was already the best manga launch from its French publisher Ki-oon, as well as the best launch for an animated series on the Crunchyroll streaming platform. However, the creation of the mangaka Gege Akutami is not revolutionary, with a fantastic universe, a demon story and fights against monsters.
Soon the surge “One Piece Red”?
But it obeys a double movement which agitates and energizes current manga, with a return to good old shônen which takes into account the demographic evolution of the readership. Its French publisher Ahmed Agne summarized it thus on BFM-TV “It’s a series aimed both at young readers who want to follow adventures a little above their age group, and also at an adult audience who still love shonen, but who wants to get excited about more mature characters and less naive stakes than what the genre usually offers”. Jujutsu Kaisen 0 will begin its second week of operation, in the footsteps of the film Demon Slayer and waiting for the surge to come with the next film One Piece Red, scheduled for this summer.