Toei Animation’s 11th One Piece animated feature tilted subtitled Film Z, landed at the No. 1 spot at the Japanese box office with a 1.3 billion yen (approximately $16.2 million) during its opening weekend (Dec. 15, 16).
The 11th film of the long-running hit anime series opened on 300 screens and reached 1.1 million people. After the success of the previous opus Strong World three years ago, One Piece Film Z is the fastest film to reach 1 million ticket sales in the Japanese film market not only this year but since 2001 in Japan! Compared with the 10th installment of the series, the revenue and attendance rate both increased 130%.
Directed by Tatsuya Nagamine and exec produced by original show creator Eiichiro Oda, the 107-minute feature finds Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Crew fighting the evil forces of a legendary ex-Navy admiral called Zetoo, who wants to wipe out all pirates after stealing a powerful weapon known as Dynarock.
The One Piece manga was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump in August of 1997. It centers on the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, young boy who develops supernatural abilities by eating a magical fruit, and his ragtag crew of heroic pirates, who set out to uncover a fantastic treasure. The first video based on the property was introduced in 1998 and the Toei series began its run in Japan in 1999. The series used to be part of Cartoon Network’s Toonami block, but now it airs on the anime PlayStation 3 streaming service Neon Alley (www.neonalley.com).