MENA-based distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has announced that its latest release, Toei Animation Inc.’ One Piece Film: Red, the 15th film in the famed Anime series has rocketed to the top of the box office charts in Saudi Arabia.
The film achieved the biggest opening ever for a Japanese Anime film in the market, and ended the weekend at number one ahead of DC’s Black Adam.
One Piece Film: Red’s opening weekend total (including pre-views) reached 61,000 admissions and a gross box office of $1.05 million, putting it 14% ahead of the previous record holder Jujutsu Kaisen 0 in terms of admissions, which debuted earlier this year, and 50% ahead of Demon Slayer: Mugen Train.
The film also had one of the biggest ever opening days for a PG-12 movie in the Kingdom and the 2nd biggest ever opening day for an animated film behind Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru. For context, the opening day figures are higher than Universal’s Jurassic World by 22% (also rated PG-12), 286% bigger than Sonic: The Hedgehog 2 and just 8% lower than Black Adam.
The movie has already become the franchise’s highest selling film to date. In Japan, One Piece Film: Red became the highest grossing film of the year ahead of Top Gun: Maverick and is now the sixth biggest Anime of all time in the territory. The film also opened in North America via Crunchyroll/Sony this weekend with $4.7 Million on Friday (including previews).
The story of the movie is focused on Uta —the most beloved singer in the world. Renowned for concealing her own identity when performing, her voice has come to be described as “otherworldly.” Now, for the first time ever, Uta will reveal herself to the world at a live concert. As the venue fills with all kinds of Uta fans including excited pirates, the Navy watching closely, and the Straw Hats led by Luffy.
One Piece Film: Red is the 15th feature movie of the One Piece movie series, based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda. It was first announced on Nov.21 last year in commemoration of the One Piece anime episode 1000’s release and as part of the 25th anniversary of One Piece manga.
Front Row has led the way in Anime distribution in recent years in the MENA, releasing several major properties including the previous One Piece Film, Stampede, Dragon Ball Super: Broly and Resurrection ‘F’, Attack on Titan: Chronicle and Makoto Shinkai’s highly acclaimed Weathering With You amongst others. The company also represents the Studio Ghibli catalogue in the region and has also handled the release of several Anime series such as The Promised Neverland, Akudama Drive and many others.
“We are delighted to see how well One Piece Film: Red has performed since its release in the Middle East region early this month,” said Eli Touma, Front Row’s head of distribution.
“Japanese Anime are incredibly popular in the Middle-East and particularly in Saudi Arabia and One Piece is the biggest property of them all. We’re eager to continue feeding this audience as they’ve long been underserved in this region,” Touma added.
Goro Taniguchi directed One Piece Film Red, while Tsutomu Kuroiwa wrote the screenplay and Oda had full commitment and deep involvement with the movie as it’s the executive producer, character designer, and also the script reviewer of it.
The film also opened strongly across the Middle-East with over $400k grossed to date in the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Egypt. It is currently playing across all major cinema chains in the region in IMAX.