Monday, 10 August 2015

‘Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F’ In Top 10 Highest-Grossing Anime Titles Domestically In Record Time

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Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F grossed another $1.36M on Saturday to bring its five-day total to $5.58M in North America, easily jumping past the total domestic grosses of Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle ($4.7M) and The Wind Rises to become the first indie in the Top 10 highest grossing Anime films domestic. In fact, it bleated out the Shaun the Sheep Movie which was playing in major chains across the country and on many more screens (2,320 theaters) to gross $4M since bowing on Wednesday. Resurrection F, from FUNimation, opened on Tuesday and was in a smattering of theaters in a sporadic run. It now becomes No. 9 of Top Anime domestic grossers and Wind Rises (with $5.2M) is now No. 10.


Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F
To reach that spot is even more noteworthy because both of Miyazaki’s films were released by Disney and had to play for weeks to get their grosses. Not so, with Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F which has been on a rollercoaster event release schedule and playing for only one week.
“Due to overwhelming response from our fans, we have over 200 theaters coming back on for tomorrow,” said Michael DuBoise, exec VP and chief operating officer of FUNimation who oversees marketing and distribution for the pic. “And we now have 250 for Tuesday so that will be 450 locations for those two days that we didn’t have in our initial plan. Our fan base has really embraced the film, and it’s going push (the gross) even higher in the week.” Wednesday the film will stay in a number of theaters (367) so the final gross will be reported then.
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F already grossed $51.6M overseas. It scored the biggest opening in Japan of 2015 and it had some stiff competition with Universal’s Fast & Furious 7 (as it was titled internationally). It was released by Fox in Japan and took No. 1 to mark a 40% higher opening than its predecessor, Dragonball Z: Battle Of Gods in 2013.
Interestingly, Kelli Crain, VP of marketing who (like DuBoise) came from the Home Video unit at Universal, worked on Battle of the Gods so was very familiar with the fan base and exactly how to reach them. By the way, Battle of Gods grossed $2.5 million for its entire run but on its first day, Resurrection F took in 67% of that gross.
To reach those fans, Crain oversaw a grassroots campaign on the Internet and social media fan sites because there was little money for marketing. Because of that, they bought very little TV and only spent media for the Toonami block of Adult Swim. They grabbed retail partner Hot Topic to launch  in-store promotions as they promoted the anime film at Comic-Com and anime fan conventions.  To add excitement and drive fans into the theater, they also produced a special 15-minute Dragon Ball Z themed pre-show to play before the film.
The result was a highly successful week-long box office run that the industry won’t soon forget.


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