Apparently, a lot of people in North America wanted to know more about the One Piece world’s most beloved singer, judging by the impressive box office success of One Piece Film Red in domestic theaters this weekend, with the movie massively outperforming the previous installment in the long-running series.
In its first weekend, the movie — the 15th feature in the One Piece franchise to date — made $9,323,267 at the domestic box office. While that might be lower than the recent $67 million opening weekend for Black Adam, there’s significant context to consider when judging the success of the new Toei Animation release — and all of it is good news for the franchise as a whole.
Beyond the fact that One Piece Film Red played at just over 2,400 theaters across the weekend — compared to almost twice that many for Black Adam, with the latter playing on multiple screens inside those theaters — it’s worth noting that One Piece Film Red made more than seven times the opening weekend take than the previous movie in the franchise, 2019’s One Piece Stampede, which had an opening weekend gross of $1,308,571.
Additionally, the movie scored a 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating from both critics and audiences, as well as an A CinemaScore.
In a statement accompanying the weekend’s results, President and CEO of Toei Animation Inc. Masayuki Endo, said, “We were confident that One Piece Film Red would be a hit with U.S. and Canadian audiences and this weekend’s stellar opening proves it,. This is a history-making moment for the One Piece franchise and its most successful theatrical release ever. Over the last 23 years, the One Piece anime series has attracted an enormous global fan base and it continues to grow around the world – especially here in North America as illustrated by the film’s success.”
Directed by Goro Taniguchi from a screenplay by One Piece Film: Gold writer Tsutomu Kuroiwa, One Piece Film Red centers around the revelation of the identity of Uta, the most popular singer in the world — who is, secretly, the daughter of the enigmatic Shanks. Franchise creator Eiichiro Oda is executive producer on the project.
The original One Piece manga serial has run in Weekly Shōnen Jump since 1997, with the anime adaptation of the series launching two years later. The franchise has been a massive international success, with distribution in more than 60 countries worldwide, and the manga has set the Guinness World Record not once but twice for the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author.
Want to learn more about One Piece Film Red? Revisit the movie’s NYCC panel from last month.