VIZ to launch 'Boys' in US

Manga series gets day and date release

TOKYO -- VIZ Pictures has licensed the North American theatrical and DVD distribution rights to the live-action “20th Century Boys” feature film trilogy from Nippon Television and will premiere the third installment in a day-and-date release at its new VIZ cinema in San Francisco on August 28.

The first “20th Century Boys” will be the opening film at the theater on August 15. The first and second movie will then be released by VIZ pictures on DVD later this year, with the last chapter coming out next year.

“We’re very excited to premiere the third and final film to U.S. audiences at VIZ Cinema the same day it debuts in Japan,” said Seiji Horibuchi, CEO of VIZ Pictures, in a statement.

Based on the award-winning Naoki Urasawa manga which sold over 20 million copies in Japan -- which VIZ pictures publishes in the US -- the trilogy are all directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi.

The first movie was the seventh biggest grossing film of 2008, taking nearly 4 billion yen ($42 million) domestically.
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