Anime and ‘Godzilla’ Boost Japan’s Box Office in 2023

The Japanese film industry has reported a growth of 4 percent in the box office earnings for 2023, reaching a post-pandemic high of $1.5 billion. This increase, according to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan (MPPAJ), was driven primarily by the popularity of anime and a steady inflow of audiences back to theaters. However, with the weak yen affecting the conversion rates, earnings in dollar terms decreased, even though the actual takings increased. Hollywood contributions remained constant in the market, maintaining a 31 percent share.

Detailed Breakdown of Box Office Figures

The announcement was made in Tokyo by the MPPAJ or Eiren, as it is known locally. Owing to a slump in the yen, the box office revenue saw a decline from last year’s $1.64 billion, despite takings in yen climbing from 213 billion yen. Imported movies earned $452 million from a total of 676 films whereas 555 domestic productions garnered a whopping $995 million.

Blockbuster Hits of 2023

The top grosser of 2023 was “The First Slam Dunk,” an anime by Toei based on a popular basketball manga, earning $107 million. This was closely followed by “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($95 million) and the latest installment in the “Detective Conan” series ($94 million). All these movies surpassed the local benchmark for blockbusters of 10 billion yen ($68 million). The overall box office takings for 2023 were second only to the record high of $1.77 billion (261 billion yen) in 2019.

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“Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Boy and the Heron” was the fourth highest-grossing film with an earning of $58 million. “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One” was the only Hollywood production that made it to the top 10, with revenues touching $37 million.

Boost in Theater Admissions

There was also a bump in the total theater admissions by 2 percent, recording a total of 155.5 million, with a slight increase in the number of screens to 3,653.

Surprising Success of “Godzilla Minus One”

As part of the discussions, the unexpected triumph of “Godzilla Minus One” in the American market took center stage. The movie posted a revenue of more than $55 million in the United States, becoming the third highest-grossing non-English language film in the US market. In fact, it toppled the Oscar-winning film “Parasite,” and set new records including the biggest opening weekend for a foreign film.

Wrap Up

The rise in Japan’s film industry hints at the powerful comeback of the cinema worldwide. Anime and manga-based films are leading the charge with impressive box office performances. The success of Japanese films in foreign markets signifies the growing global acceptance of non-English content and the increasing influence of streaming platforms. For more such news, reviews, guides and in-depth critiques, head over to