Japanese Consumers Return to the Cinema
The number of new cases of COVID19 in Japan has been hovering more than 1000 a day on average,
and although the situation continues to be unpredictable, people are coming back to theaters,
just as they did before the pandemic, as preventive measures are being taken.
Japan's film market in 2019 grew about 20 percent the previous year and was close to 3 billion USD. It is the third largest market in the world after the United States and China.
Japanese films accounted for 55% of the total box office revenue, led by animations such as ONE PICE, Doraemon and Detective Conan, and have remained at the same level since 2018. Audience in 2019 was at 194.91 million, just one step away from the Japanese film industry's goal of 200 million.
Meanwhile, due to the spread of the new coronavirus that has been rampant around the world since the beginning of 2020, Japanese movie theaters were declared to be in a state of emergency and closed on April 7. With the declaration of the state of emergency and the lifting of the government's request to close the cinemas, they were reopened in June, but the impact was immeasurable.
While audiences have been moderately distant after the reopening, the savior film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (Japanese: 鬼滅の刃), was released on October 16, 2020.
Amidst the pandemic, a large number of people have been coming to the theater.
Kimetsu no Yaiba is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Koyoharu Gotōge. It follows Tanjiro Kamado, a young boy who becomes a demon slayer after his family is slaughtered and his younger sister Nezuko is turned into a demon.
The box office grossed over 2 billion USD after three weeks of release, surpassing Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 2001 to become the fifth highest-grossing film of all time. It has become a big boom not only in Japan, but also abroad, as it has become the top grossing anime film in Taiwan, and is scheduled to be released in Thailand on December 9.
Three out of four people are still resistant to going to the cinema today, and the majority are still resistant to visiting the cinema, but by number of visits to the cinema in 2019, the more often people visit the cinema, the less resistant they are.
People are beginning to return to their pre-pandemic lives, especially those who are in the habit of going to the movie theater.