On Christmas Day, Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle (also known as Pokemon the Movie: Coco) opened in Japanese theatres at no.2 in the box office.
The film, directed by Tetsuo Yajima (who also directed Pokemon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution), scored an impressive rating of 9.3 on IMDb at the time of writing. It would have topped the Japanese box office, if not for Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train staying in theatres for almost three months straight.
Mugen Train is currently the highest-grossing film in Japan of all time, dethroning Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away, netting 32 billion yen as of 27th December. The film continues to be a record-breaking global phenomenon, despite its unavailability in many regions.
On the other hand, Pokemon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle made a respectable 700 million yen figure in the box office since release. It is the 23rd film in the Pokemon franchise. Secrets of the Jungle also marks the first time Generation VIII features on the silver screen.
According to MyAnimeList:
The new film’s story is set in Okoya Forest, a Pokémon paradise protected by strict rules that forbid outsiders from setting foot inside. The film centers on Coco, a boy who was raised by Pokémon and also considers himself as one, treating the Mythical Pokémon Zarude as his father. Ash and Pikachu encounter Coco during an adventure. The film focuses on the theme of a “human raised by Pokémon,” instead of the previous films’ focus of the “bond between a human trainer and their Pokémon.”
You can watch the movie’s trailer here:
With COVID-19 greatly impacting film distribution from overseas, studios in Japan seized the opportunity to release their films more aggressively. For the rest of the world, we eagerly await the time when these movies make their way to our local theatres.