Takehiko Inoue Discusses the Origin of Slam Dunk and the Possibility of a Sequel

Takehiko Inoue, known for directing the initial Slam Dunk film and originating the Slam Dunk manga, participated in the "COURT SIDE in THEATER FINAL" talk event on August 15. During the event, he shared insights about his involvement in the film's production, the dedication he invested in its development, and the potential for a follow-up installment. At 56 years old, Inoue, who also directed the film, expressed his cautious stance regarding the possibility of a sequel: "Stating definitively whether there will be a sequel or not could constrain me. If I confirm its existence and it doesn't materialize, that would be regrettable. Conversely, if I declare there won't be one, I might hinder myself from pursuing it even if I decide to create it. Hence, I prefer to refrain from making any statements at this juncture." Inoue expanded upon the filmmaking journey, emphasizing his dedicated efforts to bring the successful film to fruition: "Before the movie's premiere, my primary aim was its completion.

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I strived to enhance it even slightly, pouring all my abilities into the project. The team's dedication was remarkable too," Inoue stated. Being his directorial debut, the film carried special significance for Inoue. Ryūta Koike, a film and music producer, mentioned to Anime News Network that the team's goal was to exceed the original material, largely due to Inoue's foundational role. However, Inoue regarded the actual screening as just one part of the overall story. "In spite of finishing the movie, its true value is only realized when the audience experiences it. A film attains true completion when it reaches the audience—when it has effectively connected with each individual viewer. The same principle applies to manga. Thus, I hope that connection was established," he articulated. The movie garnered substantial attendance in Japanese theaters, securing the top spot upon its release on December 3. During its opening weekend, it sold 847,000 tickets and generated 1,295,808,780 yen (approximately US$9.50 million). As of July 23, the cumulative ticket sales reached 10.33 million, amassing 14,900,403,870 yen (around US$105.3 million). This accomplishment positioned the film as Japan's 14th highest-grossing film of all time and the eighth highest-grossing anime film. Earning the prestigious Animation of the Year award at the 46th Japan Academy Film Prizes, the film also led to accolades for producer Toshiyuki Matsui, who received the general award at the 42nd Fujimoto Awards hosted by Eiga Engeki Bunka Kyōkai (Film Theater Culture Association). GKIDS released the film across the United States and Canada, offering both English-dubbed and Japanese audio versions with English subtitles starting July 28. In its initial North American weekend, the film accrued US$662,211. As of Sunday, its global earnings reached a cumulative total of US$152,355,179. The film's Japanese theater run is set to conclude on August 31.

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