In a joint announcement today, GKIDS and Toei Animation confirmed the North American premiere of The First Slam Dunk will be hosted at this year’s Anime Expo in Los Angeles. This follows the companies earlier this month confirming a partnership that would see GKIDS acquire North American and Canadian distribution rights of the feature film.
Scheduled for Monday 3 July 2023, at 12:00 pm Pacific, the North American premiere of The First Slam Dunk will be held in the Main Events Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event promises a special giveaway, with the first 2,500 guests receiving a souvenir booklet of the film.
The First Slam Dunk, which marks the first feature-length film from the franchise in 28 years, debuted in Japan on December 3, 2022. It quickly became the 24th highest-grossing film of all time in the country. Upon its release in South Korea, the movie reached #2 at the box office during its opening weekend, making it the most-watched Japanese movie in South Korea at the time. In Mainland China, the film opened with a record-breaking $55.2 million, becoming the largest opening ever for an imported animated film in the country. And soon, we will get to see how the film fares in North America, and perhaps looking forward, other countries.
The original “Slam Dunk” manga, which was serialized from 1990 to 1996, has sold over 170 million copies worldwide. The manga has been adapted into various media formats, including a popular anime series that aired from 1993 to 1996. The First Slam Dunk not only marks the franchise’s return but also serves as the directorial debut for original manga creator Takehiko Inoue. The film was awarded this year’s Japan Academy Prize for Best Animation of the Year, marking Inoue’s first nomination and win.
Later this summer, GKIDS plans to release The First Slam Dunk theatrically in the United States and Canada. The release will include both the original Japanese version with English subtitles and an all-new English dubbed version.
About The First Slam Dunk
Shohoku’s “speedster” and point guard, Ryota Miyagi, always plays with brains and lightning speed, running circles around his opponents while feigning composure. Born and raised in Okinawa, Ryota had a brother who was three years older. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, who was a famous local player from a young age, Ryota also became addicted to basketball.
In his second year of high school, Ryota plays with the Shohoku High School basketball team along with Sakuragi, Rukawa, Akagi, and Mitsui as they take the stage at the Inter-High School National Championship. And now, they are on the brink of challenging the reigning champions, Sannoh Kogyo High School.