The XXXHOLiC live-action movie directed by Mika Ninagawa debuted on the 5th place in Japan’s box office on it’s opening week. It took a while for the numbers to come in, due to the Golden Week holiday in Japan.
The movie grossed US$678,321 in its opening weekend (April 29th-May 1st) and US$1,450,436 after 9 days since its release.
April 29th – May 1st weekend (Gross/Total Gross)
1st – Detective Conan: The Bride of Halloween ($5,665,453 / $40,330,183) 2nd – Crayon Shin-chan: Mononoke Ninja Chinpuden ($2,191,837 / $6,726,318) 3rd – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore ($2,166,432 / $26,088,958) 4th – Free! The Final Stroke Part 2 ($987,323 / $3,215,116) 5th – XXXHOLiC ($678,321 / $1,450,436)
I honestly expected a much better performance, I don’t know how much the pandemic caused an impact on it — probably not much considering how well the Detective Conan movie is doing. Also, I’ve been informed that the movie is not being screened in a lot of theaters, which could mean that the distribution is not as wide as the other movies in positions 1-4. If there are less screens showing the movie, you will end up having less grossing.
There are many ways to measure if a movie was successful, the most common of them being whether it profited enough to cover its productions costs. Unfortunately, at this point it is unknown how much was the production cost for the XXXHOLiC movie.
It’s also worthwhile checking XXXHOLiC‘s performance against the previous movies directed by Mika Ninagawa:
Sakuran (2006) – debuted at #6 (First weekend gross: $370,831 / Total domestic gross: $5,973,534)
Helter Skelter (2012) – debuted at #4 (First weekend gross: $2,937,152 / Total domestic gross: $24,231,554)
Diner (2019) – debuted at #3 (First weekend gross: $1,756,882 / Total domestic gross: $9,673,094)
No Longer Human – debuted at #4 (First weekend gross: $1,566,799 / Total domestic gross: $10,452,114)
Only Sakuran (2012) had a slightly worse performance than XXXHOLiC, but given that the numbers are from 2012, I honestly don’t know if they have been corrected to reflect inflation over the years (I don’t think so). Helter Skelter had a really good opening weekend, the best of all five Ninagawa movies, and the best total grossing as well.
There are two things to keep an eye out from now on: 1) how the XXXHOLiC movie goes in the next weekends (maybe it will have a timid, but long run); 2) Due to CLAMP’s international appeal, there is a possibility of having the XXXHOLiC movie opening in other countries, which would of course contribute to its total grossing. The same happened with Sakuran and Helter Skelter (both also manga adaptations).
Considering that at this point the movie is not getting distributed massively, one could say that it was a good first week performance. Let’s hope that it will open in more screens in the next weeks.
With the opening date for the XXXHOLiC live action moving drawing near, it’s been announced today that a limited amount of cards illustrated by CLAMP will be distributed to those to come to watch the movie at the theaters. They don’t specify how many postcards will be available.
In the new illustration, the cast of XXXHOLiC can be seen wearing the same costumes as seen in the movie. The setting is also akin to the movie.
Moreover, CLAMP released a formal comment for the first time since the movie announcement:
Which can be roughly translated as:
The work called “XXXHOLiC”, for which director Mika Ninagawa loves it deeply, the wish for wanting to see the “picture” and “story” that she envisions has come true.
As original authors, we are very happy as a movie fan.
In return, director Mika Ninagawa tweeted:
Which can be roughly translated as:
What a great message!!!
Moreover, everyone’s in their movie outfits in the new drawn illustration! What should I do, I’m so happy I could die…
Despite this, CLAMP and Mika Ninagawa are still not following each other on twitter, as they once did.
I’m really happy about this because for the first time in months (and about time, really), we have an official statement from CLAMP.
They have spoken informally about the movie in some of their twitter spaces, but always very briefly. The postcard is a nice gift to the fans, too. I’m glad they did it.
I did notice, however, that CLAMP’s comments were not included in the movie official website along with everyone else’s. They can be seen only in the News section that talks about the postcard.
There are many ways to interpret CLAMP’s comment. They were, of course, very polite. But the impression I had reading the comment is that the movie is Mika Ninagawa’s vision entirely, which makes perfect sense given that she’s the director. I do wonder if there were any disagreements between her and CLAMP, which led to this “distant” approach from CLAMP.
We get to see some of the clients in the trailer, such as “Misaki” (who is the lady with the habit of lying) as well as Spider Lady and the original character Akagumo. But we don’t get to see Neko Musume, Zashiki Warashi or any other clients (I think?).
It seems like there will be a lot of action taking place in Tokyo, as expected from Mika Ninagawa. You can see the iconic Shibuya 109 building in one of the scenes.
I am not sure if the theme song fits XXXHOLiC. I am not familiar with the band. Of course I would love it to be Suga Shikao the one performing the theme song, but I didn’t think he would be chosen.
The last scene in the trailer looks beautiful and perhaps it gives us an indication of how much from the original story the movie will cover.
The visuals look good. The trailer looks a bit too heavy on the CGI, but maybe they chose these scenes purposely for the trailer to cause an impact in the audience. It also feels very action-based, a bit too much for XXXHOLiC, but again, it might be the selection of scenes they picked.
All that said, the trailer did its job to make me wanna see the movie!
The first trailer of ホリック xxxHOLiC has been announced:
Moreover, new cast and staff additions have been announced.
The role of Maru is played by DAOKO and the role of Moro by Serena Motola. Keiichiro Shibuya is in charge of the soundtrack. Previously, it was announced that Hokuto Matsumara (from the idol band SixTONES) will be playing Shizuka Doumeki and Tina Tamashiro will be playing Himawari Kunogi.
Direction: Mika Ninagawa Original work: CLAMP Script: Erika Yoshida Music: Keiichiro Shibuya
The trailer is very short (expected for a first trailer), but I like what I see. It’s difficult to judge, but it didn’t leave me a bad impression. Quite the opposite, it made me want to see more. I think the atmosphere is on point.
For the music, I was really hoping to haveShinichi Osawa, whom I think it’s a genius of a producer and has produced for many Japanese artists (including my favorite singer, Namie Amuro) and who has worked with Mika Ninagawa in Diner, one of her previous movies. But we have Keiichiro Shibuya instead, to whom I am not familiar with. Apparently he is known for working with electronic music. I can’t judge enough based on that 30 seconds trailer alone, but I hope I will like his work.
I really enjoyed Maru and Moro’s characterization. It’s a departure from the previous live action characterizations, in which they have always been played by children. Mika Ninagawa’s take of Maru and Moro look extremely fashionable.
The cast is made of very popular names. We have names from the fashion and music industries. This is very characteristic of Ninagawa, who often casts for her movies people that she has photographed before. Some of them are making their debut in an acting role (DAOKO and maybe Hokuto?). Can they deliver a performance as good as someone more experienced?
Still hoping for the best for this movie, even though I am still not sure how CLAMP feel about it, given that they haven’t shown a whole lot of enthusiasm towards it on twitter yet.
Mika Ninagawa is a famous award winning Japanese photographer and director. She is known for her brightly colored photographs of flowers, goldfish, and the city of Tokyo. She made her debut as movie director in 2007 with Sakuran, followed by Helter Skelter in 2012, both of which were also originally manga series. In 2019, she released two movies based on Japanese novels, Diner and Ningen Shikkaku. In 2020, she directed her first TV series, Netflix’s FOLLOWERS. XXXHOLiC will be her fifth theatrical movie.
Here’s a comment from director Mika Ninagawa:
10 years have passed since the very first meeting that I’ve said “I wanna make a XXXHOLiC movie!”. It is finally finished after getting over a variation of things.
Now that is finished, the fact it will be released now, it sort of feel like “hitsuzen” (inevitable).
We have experiecied a moment in which the world changed. Because of that, is that what’s inside “XXXHOLiC” soaks in more inside us now. “In this world everyone is connected to someone, and shares something. You are the one making the choice, and the future is given in each one of those decissions.”
I think I’ve reached a new expression, guided by the force that the original work has. It’s finished. Go watch it in the cinemas.
(thank you Claudio-san for the translation!)
With this, XXXHOLiC becomes the first CLAMP work to have a live action movie opening on theaters (the Tokyo Babylon live action was released straight to VHS). XXXHOLiC also maintains its title of CLAMP work with the most variety of media adaptations, having had an animation movie, two TV Anime seasons, four OADs, a live action TV Drama, a live stage reading drama, a musical stage play, several audio dramas (CDs and PLAYBUTTON), a novel, a game and now a live action theatrical movie.
I was super excited when I saw this news! I’ve been a huge fan of Mika Ninagawa for years and for years I have been dreaming about her directing a live action of a CLAMP manga. I always thought that XXXHOLiC was a strong candidate but after the TV Drama, my hopes were down a little. I still kept hoping that she would somehow collaborate with CLAMP on something else or something original. Fast forward to 10 years later and here we are!
It’s interesting that Mika said it’s been around 10 years since she had the first meeting about wanting to work with XXXHOLiC. This goes back around the time the TV Drama was released. Coincidence? I think not.
I was of course hoping that Ohkawa-sensei would have written the script, but at least the scriptwriter is a woman. Both director and scriptwriters are women and that is a very good thing.
Still, I am very curious to know about what was CLAMP’s involvement in all this. The movie is finished (it’s probably in post-production stage now) so now it’s not a matter of hoping that CLAMP will be more involved, but rather just how much were CLAMP involved. So far, they haven’t been very vocal about the announcement on social media and I find that a little concerning (it strangely reminds me of their behavior during the Tokyo Babylon 2021 days). I hope they will be more vocal about this in the coming days, after all, they have always admired Ninagawa’s work.
Speaking of Ninagawa, she is one of the biggest names in Japanese pop culture at the moment. She is very mainstream and yet highly artistic and has a massive fanbase who is very supportive of her work. This will definitely attract both existing and new audiences.
I am really happy with this collaboration that I believe is nothing but worthy of CLAMP and XXXHOLiC. I cannot think of a better person to translate the XXXHOLiC atmosphere than Mika Ninagawa. I am not very familiar with the actress, but she is gorgeous and apparently extremely popular as well.
This is looking very promising!
PS: Isn’t now a great timing to resume XXXHOLiC Rei?