The August 6 play-week delivered the best single-week box office of the pandemic-era in Japan, powered by the massive opening of Toei’s ONE PIECE FILM: RED. With a total gross of ¥9.19 billion ($68.1m), the market witnessed its biggest play-week in three years, having to go all the way back to the August 10, 2019 play-week to top it (¥12.22bn).

The latest instalment in the long-running anime franchise scored the second biggest 2-day opening of all-time with ¥2.25 billion ($16.7m) from 1.58 admissions, second only to 2020’s record-breaking DEMON SLAYER: MUGEN TRAIN ($31.8 million from 2.51 million admissions). Across the whole play-week ONE PIECE FILM: RED delivered just shy of ¥5 billion (¥4.98bn), or $36.9 million.

The film claimed just over 54% of the total market share, coming in ahead of JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION in its second week (15% market share). The arrival of such a colossal local success into a vibrant marketplace (the top 5 also included MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU and local action film KINGDOM II: TO DISTANT LANDS, both in week 4, and the long-running TOP GUN: MAVERICK in week 11), helped secure the pandemic play-week record, coming in well ahead of the ¥7.91 billion taken across all titles in DEMON SLAYER’s debut play-week (week commencing Oct. 17, 2020). DEMON SLAYER dominated at a time of significantly less content (especially among US imports) with an opening week market share of 81.5%!

Prior to the August 6, 2022 play-week Japan had not seen any play-week gross over ¥6.5 billion in 2022. Last year no play-week delivered over ¥7 billion.

Japan’s year-to-date box office (¥123bn) up to the end of the August 6 play-week (Friday, Aug. 12) is currently tracking narrowly ahead of 2018 at the same stage (+0.3%). Against the average of the last three pre-pandemic years (2017-2019) Japan is tracking just 12% behind. This is best result of any major global market. It is tracking 33% ahead of 2021 at the same stage.

ONE PIECE FILM: RED is the 15th theatrical film in the ONE PIECE franchise, which began in 2000. RED, directed by Gorô Taniguchi, is the first release in the series since STAMPEDE, which was released August 9, 2019 heading into August 10, 2019 play-week that was the last to surpass this latest success. STAMPEDE opened alongside Disney’s THE LION KING and into a market already powered by Makoto Shinkai’s WEATHERING WITH YOU (then in week 4) – the top grossing film of 2019 in Japan ($130.9m).

Through Sunday (Aug. 14) Japan’s box office stood at ¥126 billion ($1.01bn) for 2022. TOP GUN: MAVERICK is currently the top performing title ($86.2m) ahead of December 2021 local holdover JUJUTSU KAISEN 0 ($77.9m taken in 2022, $120.1m total) and the April release of another long-running anime franchise-entry DETECTIVE CONAN: THE BRIDE OF HALLOWEEN ($73.5m). ONE PIECE FILM: RED was already 4th for the year ($48m) after just 9 days in release, ahead of FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE ($36.8m) and SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME ($36m).

ONE PIECE FILM: RED also scored a franchise-best opening this past weekend in France, with a five-day launch of €2.62 million (€3.46m inc. previews) from 358,606 admissions (475,625 admissions inc. previews). The launch knocked BULLET TRAIN into second place and was more than double the debut of fellow opener NOPE. The standard 5-day launch was the biggest ever for a Japanese film in France, beating the 2019 release DRAGON BALL SUPER: BROLY (347,193 admissions) and DEMON SLAYER: MUGEN TRAIN, released in 2021 in France (330,000 admissions).

Taiwan opens RED this coming weekend and Hong Kong a week later. The Netherlands is the next European market to receive it (Sept. 8) with other Asia Pacific and EMEA territories rolling out in the fall and winter.