Over 10 years since it’s debut in Japan, the juggernaut called One Piece is still going strong, arguably having surpassed Dragon Ball Z popularity wise. And now One Piece fans have some more news to brag about.
Just 10 days after the latest One Piece film, One Piece Film Z, opened in Japanese theaters, it earned around 3.1 billion yen, which equals around $36 million dollars! Wow!
And that isn’t all. The film made over 16 million dollars in the opening weekend, and the film now has the highest grossing opening weekend in Japan this year. It is currently on pace to be the hightest-grossing anime film in Japan, and possibly rank in the top 10 hightest-grossing overall films in Japan.
Part of the reason the film did so well was all the publicity. In Japan, the film had been advertised for months, and had a whole bunch of trailers and TV spots. The film also got some hype from fans when it was revealed that Eiichiro Oda, the author of the manga, would be over-seeing the film as “Executive Producer”. Also, the film’s trailers had been hyping up the new villain, Zephyr, who is apparently the strongest villain in the franchise yet! A TV special made to promote the film also aired in Japanese TV a few weeks ago.
This film is the sequel to the 2009 film One Piece Film Strong World, and 11th overall film in the franchise. The film is directed by Tatsuya Nagamine (Beet the Vandel Buster). The manga has been running in Weekly Shonen Jump since 1997, and currently has over 60 volumes, and is also currently the highest-selling amnga of all time. The anime, which has been running since 1999, has over 570 episodes.
Not really a One Piece fan, but I say good for the fans. The franchise isn’t slowing down at all; if anything, I can see it speeding up in the next few years!