ABU DHABI: “The First Slam Dunk”, the latest animated feature that is based on the famous ‘Weekly Shonen Jump’ basketball manga series is available now at theaters around the Middle East in original Japanese language with both Arabic and English subtitles.
The movie follows Ryota Miyagi, the point guard of Shohoku high-school’s basketball team. He had a brother, Sota, who was three years older than him, and who inspired his love for basketball. Ryota and his teammates Hanamichi Sakuragi, Takenori Akagi, Hisashi Mitsui, and Kaede Rukawa challenge the inter-high basketball champions, the Sannoh school.
On Jan. 6, 2021, Inoue announced on his Twitter account that the movie was in production. Then, on August 13 the same year, Inoue was revealed to be the screenwriter and director of the film, along with other production staff members such as Yasuyuki Ebara as character designer/animation director and Naoki Miyahara, Katsuhiko Kitada, Toshio Ohashi, Yasuhiro Motoda, Fumihiko Suganuma, and Haruka Kamatani as sequence directors.
The film premiered in Japan on Dec. 3, ranked at #1 in its opening weekend. The film sold 847,000 tickets and earned more than 1.29 billion yen (about US$9.50 million) over its opening weekend. The film won Animation of the Year at the 46th annual Japan Academy Film Prizes. Toshiyuki Matsui, the film’s producer, received this year’s general award for Eiga Engeki Bunka Kyōkai’s (Film Theater Culture Association) 42nd annual Fujimoto Awards.
The film is the 15th highest-earning film of all time in Japan, and the ninth highest-earning anime film in Japan. It has earned 14.67 billion yen (about US$101.2 million) in Japan, surpassing the lifetime domestic earnings of Makoto Shinkai’s ‘Weathering With You film’.
In South Korea, the film sold 3,818,000 tickets and grossed more than $30.38 million by March 2023, surpassing 2016’s Your Name to become the highest-grossing anime film of all time. By April 2023, the film has sold over 4.5 million tickets and grossed over $35.5 million in South Korea. It is the second highest-grossing film of 2023 in South Korea, surpassed only by another anime film, Suzume. In China, the film topped the box office with a record $56 million opening weekend, beating the Jackie Chan film Ride On as well as The Super Mario Bros. Movie. The First Slam Dunk set several opening records in China, including the highest pre-sales for an animated import. Its IMAX opening weekend of ¥38 million RMB is also the highest for a foreign animated film in China. As of April 30, it has made $75.8 million in China.