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Do anime movies work in cinemas in Spain? This is my experience after several years going to theaters


Our country’s cinemas host several Japanese animated feature films every year, although their success at the box office is quite uneven.

There is no doubt that The situation of anime in Spain has improved a lot in recent years. Perhaps one of the points that has helped this has been that Crunchyroll was bought by Sony. Although the platform stands out in series, it has also brought us several anime movies to theaterswhich are added to those of Select Vision and those that other distributors offer us in a more timely manner.

But the question I ask myself today is: Do these films work in cinemas in Spain? Does the public go to watch anime? Instead of answering these questions with a mountain of data, I’m going to do something more fun (or at least it seems like it to me) and tell you my experience going to theaters to see these types of films. Let’s get to it!

Characteristics of anime film premieres in cinemas in Spain

These are my impressions.

Very limited availability

  • Usually, I am interested in going to see quite a few of the anime feature films that are released in our theaters (unless they are from a franchise that I don’t follow). ❤️
  • This is where I encounter the first big problem: movies are shown in few cinemas. 😭
  • Although I have one very close to my house, they have been very few times has it had anime movies on theaters. However, I have another fairly large cinema within a reasonable distance (just over 20 minutes by public transport) that usually saves me. ✅
  • Despite this, there have been two films that I have not gone to see because I was lazy.
  • The first was “Goodbye, Don Glees!“, because the only option was to approach at 4:00 p.m. in the heat of the heat wave. 🫠
  • The second, “Sing with a spark of harmony“, since the nearest cinema caught me more than 1 hour by public transport. 🚎
Goodbye DonGlees
I had to wait for Selecta Visión to release the Blu-ray of Don Glees (and put it on sale) to be able to enjoy it

The rooms, far from being full

  • The truth is that, if memory serves me correctly, I have never found a room full of people when going to the cinema to watch anime. 🤔
  • Yes, there have been times when I had a capacity that can be considered goodas in the cases of “belle” either “Suzume“. ✅
  • With “Earwig and the witch” and “Doraemon: Nobita’s new dinosaur“My only company was parents and their daughter (not the same… or so I think). 👨‍👩‍👦
  • In this Studio Ghibli film, the little girl thought they had gone to the wrong room as soon as she entered. “Dad, there’s a bigger one!“, he said when he saw me. 😂
  • There have also been two times when I had the whole room to myself.. 🤩
  • The first was “The Deer King“, and this fact made me laugh until they showed the trailer for a scary movie. 😱
  • The second one was not long ago with “Blue Giant“, and I already told you that it was quite a joy enjoy such a great concert in solitude. One of those times when going to the movies is SO worth it. ❤️
Blue Giant
I will hardly be able to forget what it was like to enjoy Blue Giant with the cinema to myself

The greatest hits

  • Although at this point in the article it may seem otherwise, the truth is that anime has great successes in cinemas in Spain. 🔝
  • One of the most recent has been “Kimetsu no Yaiba: Heading to the Training of the Pillars“, that came to lead the box office. 🏆
  • Tapes like “Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna“, “Suzume” either “One Piece Film: Red“, among others. ⭐️
  • Special mention deserves “The boy and the heron“. This was released in very few cinemas, but, seeing the great box office it achieved, many were encouraged to put it later on their billboard. 🤑
The boy and the heron
“The Boy and the Heron”, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Film in 2024, was quite mistreated by our cinemas at first

Conclusion: do anime movies work in theaters in Spain?

I personally believe that anime films are of great interest in Spain if they belong to a great franchise. The “Kimetsu no Yaiba” or “One Piece” movies are capable of filling theaters with people and being very lucrative for the business. They also perform well those that have top names behind them row like Studio GhibliHayao Miyazaki or Makoto Shinkai.

Nevertheless, independent stories that don’t have as much name continue to be our unfinished business. The few theaters that screen them are practically empty, and their revenue goes unnoticed at the Spanish box office. It doesn’t matter if they are works as notable as “Josee, the Tiger and the Fish” either “Blue Giant“.

I personally believe that A good part of the blame for this lies with the cinemas: These films are shown in very few theaters and with very limited screenings. However, it is also true that If these showings generate the little interest they currently have, cinemas have little incentive to change the situation.



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