“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” Live Action Film Disappoints at the Box Office

Live action film “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter I” directed by Takashi Miike finally made its premiere in Japan last August 4 across 323 screens. Despite coming in with much hype and high anticipation due to the popularity of the manga and anime, the film underwhelms at the box office, opening at no. 5 with just 166 million Yen on 117,000 admissions. This is a number definitely below expectations and a stark contrast to live action “Gintama’s” opening numbers 3 weeks ago (393K admissions, 541M Yen).

The Jojo live action film opened behind “Kamen Rider Ex-Aid the Movie: True Ending” (200K admissions, 375M Yen) and the second week of “Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai”. Similary, another live action film “Tokyo Ghoul” opened at a disappointing 6th place last July 29 (166K admissions, Y232M) and dropped out of the top 10 on its second week.

“JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter I” is also touted as the first collaboration between Japanese movie giants Warner Brothers and Toho, and reportedly has plans for sequels. However, with the film’s costly production, which includes filming in Spain and its disappointing weekend numbers, the possibility of sequels is uncertain.

Even closing in on the 1 billion Yen mark will be challenging. With new movies opening this week such as “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, it will be tough for “Jojo” to recover and might just fall out of the top 10. Its weekday numbers are already trailing behind the 4th week of “Gintama”, which is on its way to topping 3 billion Yen and set to become the biggest live action film for this year.

What happened? What makes Gintama, from the same Shonen Jump manga series successful while Jojo failed?

Japan Box Office Aug 5 – 6 (based on admissions)

  1. Despicable Me 3 (Week 3)
  2. Kamen Rider Ex-Aid the Movie: True Ending (Week 1)
  3. Transformers: The Last Knight Week (1)
  4. Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai (Week 2)
  5. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable (Week 1)
  6. Pokemon: Kimi ni Kimeta! (Week 4)
  7. The Mummy (Week 2)
  8. Gintama (Week 4)
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Week 6)
  10. Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Week 5)

(via NPNEiga ranking, Japan BO numbers)

  • Comments

    • ʕ→ᴥ←ʔ

      It was the hair. No one wants to watch that hair for the length of movie in live-action. lmao

    • airumka

      Even kamiki and Yamaken can’t save this movie. Poor them. But i’m glad that Kimi no suizo doing well in the box office, they deserve it

    • Neutron

      I’m more intrigued that Tokyo Ghoul fare less than Jojo though….

      • Reileen

        Tokyo Ghoul did better and it’s PG-12
        Opening weekend numbers:
        TG (166K admissions)
        Jojo (117K admissions)

        • AoZora

          Tokyo Ghoul is one of my most anticipated movies this year.. I wish,it keeps doing better at BO.

          • Neutron

            Exactly, unfortunately it’s drop out of top 10 after second weeks. Let’s hope when the film premiere all across Asia they receive better responses

            • AoZora

              As Reileen said,TG is doing well. Hope it recovers the investment and earns decent profit…

              • Reileen

                TG only did better than JoJo but its BO results are still ‘meh’ given its hype and popularity of the franchise. It could do better than it did.

                • Neutron

                  Might be due to it’s violent, gory and uncensored nature of the nature film itself which deter average Japan film goers which consist mainly parents and small kids, if you notice most of the top earner are family-friendly and TG definitely not one of them….

    • rshina

      I really want to watch Kamiki, but the hair…
      and Tokyo Ghoul is more interesting

      but I’m glad Kamen Rider is in 2nd place

    • l3012

      So, is this the Japanese equivalent of Dragon Ball’s live-action? Everything looks so tragic…

      • Ryuzaki Raiga

        naa, that should be attack on titan.

    • Samieya

      The movie is horrible, becuse it has horrible actors in it!

      • Buzz

        The cast doesn’t look that bad it’s just Jojo isn’t supposed to be a live action material in the first place wither the cast are good or bad.

        • FARetis

          It can be live action if it’s properly adapted… But jojo it’s hard to, especially Diamond is Ubreakable, half of the story is not necessary for a live action, that’s why they used Sheer Heer Attack insted of Red Hot Chilli Pepper.

    • Paffi

      I swear Nana looks like a drugged up fish 24/7 on screen every time!

    • sarah

      No shit it failed. It was a mistake from the start. Now watch FullMetal Alchemist suck .. I hope it doesn’t, but Japan just got this way of making cringe CGI. Still i pray, cause from what I’ve seen it doesn’t look bad, but I lost my trust in all Live action adaptations whether it be Japan or Hollywood. Just stop or pick stuff that you can actually do and care about. Some stuff just can’t be put into live action form.

      • yamakita

        Hollywood’s CG is pretty cringe worthy, too. Most movies look like video games and cost almost the same as a video game to see. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the whole movie.

    • Luffy

      Let’s be honest, the cast is tragic, that’s why it sucks! I don’t undertand why they keep on casting Nana, when she can’t act if her life depends on it!

    • The Dark Dudette

      Nobody wants live action films. Who are these studios, Hollywood or otherwise, targeting anyway ?

      We , anime fans , are happy enough with our 2D characters and those that are not tolerant of the anime industry will never warm up to these stories unlesss some drastic changes are made. In their attempts at appealing to the mainstream while trying to keep the fanbases happy, the script deviates from the original story too much and only ends up being half-baked with no direction.

      Those sweat drops, teeth-screeching, over the top comedy and exaggerated delivery of lines are part of the anime vocabulary that just don’t translate to the silver screen. Please producers, don’t take these stories and try to ‘fix’ them as though they had faults originally.

      • PigeonPop

        The primary audience is the so-called F1 demographic. Basically, trend-savvy teen girls (that are not core manga/anime otaku) who will gather friends to watch their favorite ikemen or model-actress favorite’s latest cosplay visuals; perhaps even meet them in-person at the premiere or at subsequent events.

        Much like you, I absolutely despise them but unfortunately it’s one of the few categories of Japanese cinema that can occasionally be a box office hit. They’ll continue to happen as long as the HanaDans, Kenshins, Ansatsu Kyoshitsus, and Gintamas etc. show up to “prove” that these adaptations will not always flop. It’s probably much easier to finance as well compared to literary adaptations or original projects.

        • The Dark Dudette


          Absolutely. Anime live action adaptations are almost too lazy. It seems as though the makers are putting no effort into understanding why hugely popular anime series are….hugely popular. The message I get with them that these stories need ‘fixing’ or ‘saving’. I’m not sure if that’s what they intend but that is definitely what I get from them.

          Also, I wonder if teens warm up to the idea of live action movies because their potential success can legitimise their interest in the original. Being a Marvel nerd , which was not something to be proud of in the 90s, became cooler with the massive box office clout of the movies. Then there are video games like The Last of Us, Unchartered etc etc. As we grow older , we lose the capacity to care about others’ opinions . Teens… not so much

    • Buzz

      I just feel sorry for Kamiki he is too good to be in this :((

      • AoZora

        Maybe Kamiki should team up with Sato Takeru and make a movie with double leads… Some mysterious adventure based(not manga) or a human drama( an original script),..

        Kenshin and Bakuman really worked…

        • Buzz

          The teamate Takeru x Kamiki is already being overused though I like them.

          • AoZora

            I see them together only in Kenshin and Bakuman… Any other movie other than these two?

            • Buzz

              I don’t know ^^;

              • AoZora

                Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends and Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno are two parts of a single story.. So Ideally they worked on only two movies so far…I mean,I am not sure if the term “overused” suits it..

                Sorry,if i am coming across as arrogant… I really like their pair.. And also Kenshin and Bakuman belonged to two completely different genre.. So any genre apart from these two,they should attempt.. I think BO will be happy :)

        • the50-person

          Either that, or with Yoshizawa Ryo. Amuse is trying to promote Kamiki and Oryo as a new team.

      • the50-person

        From what I read, even the Jojo fans who hated on the film but decided to give it a try all gave his performance a thumbs up, so I think we can all relax about that.

      • sam

        the only one who is too good to be in this is takayuki yamada, but then he’s an actor who like to experiment and he’s been in many things he shouldn’t have been in. Kamiki is a good actor but for god’s sake stop exaggerating his skills, yamada, oruri shun, murakami nijiiro now these are actors with stellar acting, kamiki is good but not exceptional.

    • Reileen

      Re: against LA films, did some people here miss what’s written above that Gintama live action film is slaying the box office? 😅

      I have yet to see this but from what I read, it’s not bad. I think it’s totally unfair to rant without even seeing the film.

      I dunno how they can proceed with the planned trilogy except maybe changing the director and cast to make a whole new PR.

      • AoZora

        There should change the director first(wrt Jojo).. Miike should go back to making movies he used to make(depicting shocking scenes of extreme violence and sexual perversions.) …. This movie was certainly not his cup of tea..

        Cast looks fine.. Of-course some dead-fish eyes cannot be eliminated,but can be counter balanced with able actors…

        • Reileen

          Most of the talents in this LA are rom Stardust (Yamazaki, Komatsu, Kamiki, Okada Masaki, and Yamada Takayuki) I’m not sure how the sequel arrangements were made, maybe there was only only a verbal agreement on the part of the director and the cast pending the results of the first film.

          But if people didn’t turn up for the first part, what will make them watch the 2nd part? I can only think of changing everything. Cancelling the sequels are also of course the most viable option right now…

          • AoZora

            imao,I think Kamiki belongs to Amuse Inc… I think you are right,if the first part didn’t bring in audience,there is no point in having a sequel…
            My suggestion was,just in case the production house still wishes to proceed with sequels then,first director must be out… :)

            • the50-person

              Kamiki is from Amuse. He is probably in due to Miike, who likes him a lot.

              • AoZora

                Hoping that Kamiki doesnt work with Miike anymore.. At-least not for few years.. imao,the whole ensembled cast doesn’t do justice to his acting talent…

                • the50-person

                  I just come to see Kamiki steamroll his fellow cast in ability xD He completely crushed Fukushi in Kamisama no iu Toori. No competition there.

            • Reileen

              oh yeah, same as Sato Takeru

        • hasawa

          “Cast looks fine.. Of-course some dead-fish eyes cannot be eliminated,but can be counter balanced with able actors” LMAO!! You got me decreased!! But #TEA!!
          As for Miike I tend to think that’s a good thing he tried something different from his usual ultra violent and extremely perverted movies, which was getting tiresome tbh

    • PigeonPop

      I don’t know why people are propping Kamiki like he’s above this. A good half (or even more) of his filmography is defined by otaku fodder at this point–he’s Tatsuya Fujiwara 2.0 but without any of the considerable theater resume Fujiwara has.

      • yamakita

        It seems like Japan cycles out its It actors/actresses every two years…

      • AoZora

        Tatsuya Fujiwara seems to do more over-acting than Kamiki… Probably because of his kabuki background… Kamiki’s acting is more subtle imao..

      • the50-person

        Well he IS above this.

        Btw, Fujiwara overacts in many roles. Kamiki is more versatile and subtle.

        And let’s be real, most actors’ careers are defined by what you label as ‘otaku fodder’. Japan now tends to adapt things into live-action instead of generating original film/tv script content. So your point does not really hold in the face of reality. Also, ‘otaku fodder’, despite the negative connotation in your usage, is not mutually exclusive with good directing, plot, cinematography and acting. There is bad ‘otaku fodder’ and bad original films. There is also good ‘otaku fodder’ and good original films. Also, being able to perform well in all instances, otaku fodder or not, good director or not, good plot or not, is also a hallmark of a strong actor, and the wide approval of Kamiki’s various performances by audiences already supports that.

        And one doesn’t have to do theatre to be considered a great actor.
        Besides, if you want to compare about theatre, then how about we take a look at Kamiki’s impressive voice-acting resume?

        • PigeonPop

          His voice-acting resume consists entirely of the standard shounen~seinen performance on loop. Subtle and nicely done, yes, but hardly indicative of his versatility that you’re trying to pitch to me. This doesn’t change much when he’s away from anime work. He’s indeed the flip side to the coin that is Fujiwara’s dramatic overacting in that regards.

          I also find this constant report by his fans of Kamiki outperforming his castmates (which I stumble upon on 2ch far too often) quite intriguing. Not sure why this is something to boast over when said castmates are fellow young actors on the usual shonen manga adaptation or seinen flick. It’s a similar feeling to seeing Morning Musume or Momoclo fans gloat about how they were better than the AKB groups on a music program. Going for the easy victories, I suppose.

          • sam

            except he’s not even markedly better than his younger cast mates in this, it’s really just a myth created by his fans and that’s pretty obvious by now. The thing is, there are many talented good actors in this generation ( I mean the actors between 18 and 25 ) kamiki is good but he’s not the one who stands out to me.

    • yamakita

      How many live-actions have to fail before they will stop making them?

      • AoZora

        I think they should be choosy about the live actions… I mean not all can be live adapted,but there are few which can be adapted well… Choosing the right one is necessary along with proper cast and a good director and of course the necessary budget… I really liked some of the LAs..

      • Neutron

        It’s like asking Hollywood the same questions (which obviously nobody will stop) on how many comic adaptations have to fail before they will stop making them.

    • Partay

      Y’all keep talking about their hair and Josuke is going to come and find you…

      I have only watched the trailers but I believe Gintama is doing well because they stayed pretty close to the original. Wacky fun and not taking it self too seriously…

    • the50-person

      Blame the Japanese Jojo fans, many of them hated on the film without even watching it and insisted they wouldn’t go watch and support. :) What’s the director going to do about that anyway?

    • sam

      people’s comments are so unfair to the cast. Jojo is like one piece, not live action material and miike did really choose the wrong cast for this even though the three younger actors ( kento, mackenyu and kamiki) acted well, I don’t get the over-hyping of kamiki’s acting, he’s not bad but really his fans are funny in the way they exaggerate his acting skills like how is he better than the rest here? if he was more typically handsome like they’d say he is a bad actor. But seriously what was miike thinking with this? casting handsome actors to attract their fans and then making them look ugly with horrible make up ( even mackenyu said he was very surprised to learn he was gonna play okuyasu and it’s not like he can be choosy at this point in this career ) kento and mackenyu still did a very good job against all odds so I find these comments quite unfair. The actors should have been required to beef up for these roles ( or choose different actors) I mean what’s next, yamapi as guts? Gintama suceeded because the casting was great, the fans did not bash it before watching it, they did not need to use realistic CG, on the contrary and Gintama has a different kind of fan base, they are more open minded and less pretentious than the jojo fanbase IMO

    • sam

      The common point between most reviews of this movie is that they all mention how the movie was much better than expected which means that all the hate on the movie before its release really did harm it. Still, I hope japan stops making adaptations that require a bigger budget than they can provide. There are many manga that are more fit for live action, imagine a tv series Netflix adaptation of Monster starring dean fujioka, now that would be perfect.

      • Ryuzaki Raiga

        how about game of throne style AZUMI manga adaptation

    • angel223_

      Its the freaking hair!!!!!!
      Plus Nana deadfish eyes..

      Lol.. tho..
      Im just here to say.. Iseya aged so fine….

    • diane

      You can’t compare Gintama with Jojo. The advantage Gintama offers is that it doesn’t take itself seriously and this is a very important factor that plays a key role in making it more successful than other live action. Gintama is hilarious and full of legendary parodies, not taking itself seriously is a core feature of the manga and anime whereas jojo for all its weirdness is a serious shonen/seinen.

    • DeidaraSanjiTR

      They have grown and decent animation culture but still watching worthless american cartoons. What a waste…

    • Kari

      Ew, they look so bad.

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