Last week, I went out to watch Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale. I am not a fan of the Sword Art Franchise. Actually hate it so much. SO. MUCH. I will save this rant for another time. When we went to the line to get our tickets, we noticed a Kirito cosplayer waiting in line. For me, this was huge mainly because I live in the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island. Something like that never happens. We have an annual comic convention which is the extent of anime exposure we get here. What happened next made my experience even better.
I walked into a huge theater that is usually held for all the huge releases to discover how packed it was. The staff of the theater had to move people into secure space for more attendees. Seeing such a turn out this big for an anime movie blew my mind. I do understand the fan base for Sword Art Online is quite large but just seeing all of these fans gather like this, gives me hope that we may see more theatrical anime releases in the US. I cannot speak for the other countries but I know that the US and Canadian fans will come out to show support to anime any way possible.
The demand for anime movies in theaters is there. Hopefully with movies like Your Name and A Silent Voice coming to other countries, maybe we can show how much money they can make presenting more anime in theaters. With Your Name becoming the greatest anime movie of all time, you would think that the western audience who are not fans of anime would want to see what the hype is about. A movie that came to the US last year called The Boy and the Beast raked in $474,308 for the one day it was shown. I cannot imagine how much money SAO is raking in right now.
If we can get a few anime movies to premiere in the US for one day or maybe for a weekend, I can see nothing but success. Another option would be to provide a poll on a monthly basis of what the general audience would like to see come to theaters. Using a poll would gauge which movies would be most successful to certain areas. Thankfully Crunchyroll is now working to bring more anime movies and even series to the big screen in certain areas. It’s also just been announced that they will debut with the Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Double feature.
I apologize if this is not as structured as my previous articles but it has been something that has been on my mind for some time. I am very passionate about anime but even more so about the ability to bring people together using anime. When I was younger I didn’t have many people to share this love of anime with until high school! As I mentioned before I live in the smallest state in the US and it is so hard to do anything anime related here. Being able to go to the movies and meet people that love anime just as much as I, really make up for it. I’d love to hear from you! What do you think about having more anime theatrical releases? Let me know in the comments below!