Who would have EVER thought that we would have the last few month’s of GEEKDOM being as dominant as it has?
AVENGERS INFINITY WAR
SPIDERMAN: INTO THE SPIDER VERSE
and now, DRAGONBALL SUPER: BROLY!
It’s fair to say that traditional 2D animated films in the West have taken a step back to 3D animated films. One the last major 2D animated film being Disney’s Princess and the Frog ($104M) in 2010. The trend has been that 2D animated films not meeting expectations or getting blown out of the water by their 3D films. Consider this: INCREDIBLES 2, MOANA, and COCO (all PIXAR/ DISNEY 3D films) grossed nearly (or over) $1B worldwide with US returns ranging from $250M to $600M. There is no doubt that computer animation has only gotten better and that tie-in toys do very well for these sort of properties. That said, there is a melancholy for animation fans that 2D seems relegated to Japanese anime series as few make it to America. While streaming services can pick up the slack for anime fans to enjoy these films — there is undoubtedly a LOSS for these fans when the films are not presented as intended. Which brings us to Dragonball Super: Broly – the new movie by Toho and Funimation.
The recent Dragonball Super: Broly film getting the number 1 spot on opening day, an achievement not seen since the Pokemon the first movie back in 1998. With fans on review sites like Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 94% and even critics ranking it high at 88%, Dragonball Super: Broly opening with a limited theatrical release makes its achievements that much more impressive! It has grossed $24M to date which is more than Spirited Away ($12M) and Your Name ($9M) received and gives many hope for the future of more based films in the West. With Disney releasing less and less 2D films in favor of 3D animated and/or live action flicks perhaps Japanese anime can fill the void left behind because as the Broly movie showed there is a fan base wanting theatrical releases of their favorite anime’s.
FATHOM Productions has been a big part of helping to cause this shift. They have successfully released (sometimes for as little as 2 nights) animated genre films into theaters around the United States. Batman: The Killing Joke was a big hit for them and helped to pave the way for efforts including My Hero Academia: The Two Heroes film from Funimation.
And hopefully, this interest in 2D animated films from abroad could potentially spark interest in domestically produced studio-produced animation here in the West from with Saturday AM probably taking the forefront for diverse Shonen anthology manga and possibly anime in the future, with action-packed, comedic, mature and all around a diverse range of stories to tell.
Have you seen Dragonball Super: Broly? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below…
By Berat Ljumani