The Value of the IM@S Movie

Think of this as part two of my IM@S movie trip-down-memory-lane. Thanks to Aniplex for updating the official site with not just a really awesome sketch of Kotori and her 765 coworkers along with a thankful letter, both from Goripon, but the box office final numbers. 2ch did the math for us and that puts the IM@S movie as 6th all time for late-night TV anime spinoffs in the past 10 years. The list is below and I’ll just take this time to annotate how many times I’ve seen it in theaters LOL.

Otonashi Kotori

Column 1 is total box office (hundred million yen), column 2 is opening weekend (hundred million yen), third column is yy/mm of release. To give you an idea, 20.8億yen is about 20.8 million USD if we go by 1 USD to 100 JPY. This means IM@s grossed 6.7 million USD or so, and K-ON the movie made more money in Japan than a lot of movies in the US??

Again, this chart only lists “late-night anime” movies in the past 10 years. Your Lupins and Gundams and Ghiblis are on a different scale altogether.

20.8億 4.00億 13/10 Madoka Rebellion – US screening, probably didn’t count
19.0億 3.16億 11/12 K-ON – Missed this one ;_; Just on home video.
10.4億 1.98億 13/08 Anohana – US screening, probably didn’t count
*8.5億 0.89億 10/02 Haruhi – US screening at a con, definitely didn’t count
*7.0億 1.18億 11/02 Macross F part 2 – Missed this one completely (even on home video…)
*6.7億 1.40億 14/01 THE IDOLM@STER – 5 times!
*6.1億 1.30億 14/02 Tiger & Bunny R – Missed this one completely
*6.0億 1.18億 12/09 Tiger & Bunny B – Missed this one completely
*5.9億 1.39億 12/10 Madoka Beginnings – US screening, probably didn’t count
*5.7億 1.72億 12/10 Madoka Eternal – US screening, probably didn’t count
*5.6億 0.87億 13/04 Steins;Gate – Once, JP screening. Waiting for a US screening when, FUNi?
*5.5億 1.23億 12/07 Nanoha 2nd A’s – Only on home video
*5.0億 1.01億 13/02 Index – Didn’t even wanna.
*3.8億 0.61億 10/01 Nanoha 1st – Only on home video
*3.1億 0.52億 11/06 BASARA – Nope
*2.8億 0.38億 10/01 FateUBW – Only home video
*2.3億 0.40億 12/03 Strike Witches – Only on home video
*2.2億 0.56億 13/09 Chuu2Koi – I wish
*2.0億 0.39億 12/06 Library Wars – Nope
*1.4億 0.30億 14/04 Tamako Love Story – I wish
*1.0億 0.32億 12/06 BLOOD-C – Nope
*1.0億 *.**億 13/03 Hanasaku Iroha – Once in Japan, once in US at a con.
*1.0億 0.22億 11/06 SoraOto – Only home video
*0.8億 0.12億 10/12 Fafner – Nope
*0.7億 *.**億 10/04 Trigun – At a con, didn’t count
*.**億 *0.2億 14/02 Mouretsu Pirates – Once in Japan
*0,1億 *0,1億 13/01 Wake Up Girls!  – At a con, didn’t count; plus streaming (!)

Questions and comments–

How does the tokutens factor? I already mentioned that IM@S movie has some wicked tokuten and that definitely got people to go see the movie more. This goes hand-in-hand with my second question, how does the SSA live, OFA, Puchim@s and general revival(?) of the IM@S franchise the past few years matter? I mean I go watch IM@S for the feels more so than anything, and those feels are in large parts due to non-anime-related factors.

The “same” question is also asked in a different way: how many people in those box office counts repeat customers? Would it be fair to take the post-opening weekend numbers and cut it down on a per-theater basis? And compare movies that had a lot of tokutens and those that didn’t? Not sure if that works or is meaningful. Maybe someone good with stats can give me a hand here.

Others commented on that how the IM@S movie preorders aren’t going as hotly as the box office would indicate, which is partly why I think ultimately IM@S movie’s box office numbers are largely inflated (by some value of largely that is totally debatable) by repeated viewers, many who probably won’t buy multiple copies of the movie. Yours truly included. So that effect is more pronounced. To put it into perspective, when I went to those 8:30 AM showings at Shinjuku back in Feburary, the movie has been out for about 3-4 weeks already, and I count 40+ attendees the two times I went. That week the bonus goods were the Goripon 765Pro shikishi that you get randomly out of 5, which is probably the second most expensive tokuten during the movie run (what was the most expensive one is now the bonus of IM@S manga #3, which is chapter 00 of the manga).

Another obvious difficulty is the lack of numbers. Aniplex has been very forward with the box office numbers, as seen here. We have the numbers from when the movie finished its main run back in March and went ninja for its road show, at about 6.45M. So that gives you an idea. But we have no other movie to compare it with? Anyone knows another movie where the numbers are out at the various points?

Anyways, this movie is truly a product of a lot of passion and you can see it unfold. I hope we all can see it soon.


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