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Indie distributor GKIDS acquired North American distribution rights for The First Slam Dunk from Japanese animation studio Toei Animation.
Based on Takehiko Inoue’s best-selling manga Slam Dunk, which was serialized from 1990-1996 and spawned several anime movies in the ’90s, The First Slam Dunk marks the first new feature-length film from the franchise in nearly three decades, as well as Inoue’s directorial debut. In the story, point guard Ryota Miyagi and his Shohoku High School basketball teammates take the stage at the Inter-High School National Championship.
Since opening in Japan on Dec. 3, the movie has earned $212 million at the global box office and was awarded this year’s Japan Academy Prize for best animation of the year.
This summer, GKIDS will give The First Slam Dunk a theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada, in both its original Japanese language and a new English dubbed version.
“I am very thankful to our partners at Toei Animation for working together with us on what I consider one of the best sports films ever made,” said David Jesteadt, president of GKIDS. “The First Slam Dunk is thrilling but also deeply emotional, and it has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. We can’t wait to share the film with Slam Dunk fans, as well as those who are discovering this work for the first time.”
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