At the post-lockdown box office, a few bankable trends that signal a new movie will make big bucks have calcified: being a movie that stars Tom Holland, being The Batman or an equally huge superhero property, or be an animated movie of an existing mega-popular series. The first case of the latter appeared in October 2020 when Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train opened in Japan. In six weeks, he became the highest grossing movie never, better Taken away as if by magic, Titanic, Frozenand Your name. Landing in the United States in April 2021, when theaters had just unlocked their doors, it opened to No. 1 at the box office, eventually grossing nearly $50 million during its run. Now, another new anime film building on a massive new series aims to replicate that success by bringing in fans who simp for a twittering blue-eyed, white-haired wizard named Gojo Satoru who can play with the fabric of the space-time crossing his fingers.
Jujutsu Kaisen 0a prequel to shōnen Jujutsu Kaisenwhich began airing in late 2019 with one of best end credits of all time on tv, arrived Friday in North American theaters. He won a respectable $17.7 million—second to The Batmannearly $37 million in week three. While this difference may seem chaotic, consider this: JJK0 beat the next highest-grossing opening, Ti West’s savage horror flick x, over $13 million despite revering in fewer theaters and with no moviegoers’ favorite distributor (A24) behind it. Instead, it’s aimed specifically at fans who have been dying to see more anime about high school kids who fight curses with cool counter-curses since its first season ended a year ago.
And for those who watched Jujutsu Kaisen, JJK0 scratches that itch by adapting a fan-favorite manga arc set in the year before the events of the main series and closes the loop between the two in a short post-credits scene establishing that we shouldn’t be surprised to see a new character showing in season 2 (released in 2023). But for those who were dragged in like a plus without knowing the context, this movie would likely be confusing, throwing nearly every character in the show on screen at some point without any introduction. If you’re seated, you’re meant to have an intimate familiarity with the ensemble of wizarding instructors and older students surrounding the pink-haired series protagonist Itadori Yuji in his quest to eat the 20 petrified fingers of the body of the world. strongest curse, Sukuna.
Corn, JJK0 has nothing to do with Yuji and his new classmates, the incredibly cool Nobara Kugisaki and the detached Megumi Fushiguro. In the year before they arrive at Tokyo Metropolitan Magic Technical College, another special boy is taken in by Gojo: Okkustu Yuta, a kind of sad bag cursed by his childhood sweetheart, Orimoto Rika, who faces off against a giant, monstrous and terrifying. form referred to as the Queen of Curses when Yuta is in trouble, brutally murdering four bullies early in the film. With the help of the sophomore sets – Inumaki Toge, who mutters nonsense words in everyday conversation due to his cursed power of speech; Maki Zen-in, who comes from a famous family of jujutsu wizards and has one of the series’ most notable episodes that breaks shōnen conventions; and Panda, literally an anthropomorphic panda created by a ritual called Cursed Corpse Mutation – Yuta must learn to control Rika lest she be grabbed by all Jujutsu Kaisenis the big bad, Geto Suguru, a former friend of Gojo and megalomaniac who is intent on killing all non-wizards.
Realizing Geto and Gojo’s backstory – clearly charged, though the reason is more ambiguous in the series – in JJK0 is one of its most rewarding features, but the main attractions here are the grand melee in all their architectural glory brought to life by MAPPA, especially during the final showdown between Yuta and Geto while the jujutsu wizards’ Rolodex clears the 1 000 curses that Geto unleashed all over Japan. Considering the series, it’s hardly a spoiler to say the good guys win, but the explosive battle reconstructs the real stakes of the previous 24 episodes, which often found time to be funny as Yuji walks in. in her own power as Sukuna’s vessel between frightening fights with super hard curses (including at least one Wrong fans will recognize in the volcano-headed Jogo). With Geto preparing for his big comeback, those who have seen JJK0 will at least know that Yuji, Gojo and co. have help along the way, packing the power of a giant curse with many sharp teeth.