Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi’s Shin Ultraman took its Specium Ray to the Japanese box office this weekend, and all the box office’s of not only the previous films in the Ultra series but to Shin Godzilla as well, grossing more in its first three days than every other entry in the Ultra series and moreso than Shin Godzilla made in the same time frame.
Over the first three days in Japanese theaters, Shin Ultraman brought in 993,410,050 yen (US$7.68 million) on the back of 641,802 tickets sold. This total is more than the total box office of the 2008 Superior Ultraman 8 Brothers film at 838 million yen, which to this point was the highest-grossing Ultra series film in theaters. Shin Ultraman‘s first three-day was also higher than that of the previous tokusatsu “Shin” film helmed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, Shin Godzilla, which made 825 million yen over its first three days in Japanese theaters.
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While Shin Ultraman has made more than Shin Godzilla at this moment, it may be that super hero special effects film may be more frontloaded than its kaiju friend, which, like Godzilla itself, the legs on the film were strong, pushing it further than expected when it released in 2016. This was also helped in the fact that the fanbase for Godzilla is much more mainstream than Ultraman.
It’ll take a little longer to formulate a more reliable prediction for where Shin Ultraman will finish its box office run as it closes out its first week and goes into its second weekend.
Shin Ultraman is the latest “Shin” film stemmed from the mind of Evangelion creator Hideaki Anno. It is directed by Shin Godzilla co-director Shinji Higuchi, with music from long-time Anno collaborator Shiro Sagisu. It opened in Japan on May 13 with no international date confirmed as of yet.
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.