“ONE PIECE FILM RED” opened in France on August 10, four days after its release in Japan. On the first day, 260,000 tickets were sold, and the number of viewers exceeded 570,000 in the first week. It broke the record for the highest first-day attendance for a Japanese animation film. Considering that the population of France is 67.39 million, about half the population of Japan, you can understand how astonishing these numbers are.
Fans rioted during the screening, causing chaos in the movie theater.
The scene of the riot was Marseille, where a preview screening was held on August 7. The audience got so excited that they started wiping their whistles, throwing popcorn, and dancing with their jackets off during the screening. Dozens of people jumped in front of the screen and ran around on the podium, making strange noises, making it impossible to watch the movie.
A video of the event was spread via TikTok and Twitter, and has been viewed approximately 6.29 million times (as of August 30).
On the same day, at a preview screening in Bordeaux, an audience member who was dissatisfied with the film in contrast set off the fire alarm, causing not only ONE PIECE but also other films to be cancelled.
The popularity of ONE PIECE in France, where even the president is said to be a fan
Many fans of Japanese anime in France are so-called “geeks,” meaning otaku, but ONE PIECE is popular among a wide range of people, especially young children and teenagers.
To begin with, France is said to be the second largest manga country after Japan; about 100 million copies of ONE PIECE comics have been sold in 60 foreign countries, including France, of which 28 million were in France.
The French version of the comic is now published before the English version. The 100th volume has a first printing of 250,000 copies, which is equivalent to the number of copies that won the Goncourt Prize, France’s most prestigious literary award.
Is it not unusual for a man to “go wild in the heat of the moment”?
In France, problems sometimes occur at soccer matches, such as excited fans rioting, fighting, and throwing smoke bombs. During political demonstrations, the TV reports rioters smashing trash cans into the street, knocking over cars on the street, setting them on fire and burning them, and vandalizing stores and bank ATMs. It is probably not unusual, if not familiar, for French people to “get so heated up that they start rioting.
Therefore, making a scene at a movie theater has a slightly different nuance than the same thing in Japan. Perhaps it is meant as a kind of “venting” to release stress. In Japan, it might be the same as getting rowdy and boisterous at a karaoke or drinking party.