Japan Box Office: Manga Favorite 'Attack on Titan' Beats 'Minions'

Universal Pictures

The three-day take for Universal's 'Minions' impresses, but the weekend belonged to a home-grown live-action feature from Shinji Higuchi.

Japan still prefers its Manga to Hollywood's Minions

Universal's Despicable Me follow-up Minions had a strong opening weekend in Japan, bowing to a three-day $5.95 million (738 million) total from 604,000 tickets sold. But in a head-to-head battle, the animated feature was edged out of the top spot by the live-action manga adaptation Attack on Titan.

The animated comedy from Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin pulled in $4.4 million (546 million) on Saturday and Sunday, compared to $4.86 million (603 million) for Attack on Titan, which bowed on Saturday. 

Attack on Titan is directed by Shinji Higuchi, who will share directorial duties with Hideaki Anno on Toho's Godzilla reboot next year, and is the first part of a double-header to be released this summer. Based on a post-apocalyptic manga written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama that has sold more than 52 million copies, Attack on Titan has also spawned successful video games and a live-action miniseries that will air online later this year.

Fuji TV's HERO, the big screen spinoff from its hugely popular drama series that sees Takuya Kimura reprising his role as a public prosecutor, fell to third after two weeks on top of the charts.

The Boy and the Beast (Bakemono no Ko), another former chart-topper, fell to fourth spot and has taken more than $22 million after four weekends in theaters. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, the anime is scheduled for release in North America, France, Australia, Germany and the U.K.

In fifth spot was Inside Out (released locally as Inside Head), which has taken $16.4 million (2.04 billion) for Disney after three weekends.

The 18th Pocket Monsters theatrical release Pokemon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages was in sixth spot and has taken $10.8 million (1.35 billion) in its three weeks since the release.

Terminator Genisys dropped to seventh after four weekends since the opening in Japan, but has pulled in a very solid $19.4 million (2.4 billion) from more than 1.7 million admissions.

Musical schoolgirl anime Love Live! The School Idol Movie was in eighth spot and has logged $17.8 million (2.2 billion) after eight weekends.

Avengers: Age of Ultron fell three spots to ninth and has followed up its big opening weekend by racking up a total of $23 million (2.86 billion) from 1.87 million admissions in Japan.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair