Marginalized voices in cinema spoke louder in 2022

Although the pandemic is not yet over in Japan, this year the local film market has returned to a semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy. Hollywood films, which had mostly disappeared from the top 10 box office rankings in 2020 and 2021, were back on the run in 2022, led by the Tom Cruise-starrer hit “Top Gun: Maverick.”

The film, which opened on May 27, earned ¥13.5 billion, the second-highest total of the year according to figures compiled by movie site Pick Scene. Four other Hollywood films reached the site’s top 10 in 2022; last year there was only one: “Fast & Furious 9.”

The box office champion of the year, however, was once again an anime film: “One Piece Film Red”. It earned 18.7 billion yen after its August. 6, the highest in the history of the venerable “One Piece” franchise and the sixth highest of all time in Japan for an anime feature. (The all-time box office leader, in any category, is 2020’s “Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train” with ¥40.4 billion.)

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