'The First Slam Dunk' is highest grossing Japanese animation ever in Korea

A cinemagoer poses for pictures in front of a ″The First Slam Dunk″ installation for the Japanese animation film at a theater in Seoul on Feb. 16. [YONHAP]

"The First Slam Dunk" became the No. 1 Japanese animation film ever to be released in Korea, surpassing 3,818,000 ticket sales in local theaters on Sunday morning.

According to the Korea Box Office Information System (Kobis), the feat comes 61 days after the comic-based film was released in domestic cinemas on Jan. 4.

The previously most-watched Japanese animation was "Your Name" (2016) by Makoto Shinkai, which grossed 3,802,000 tickets in Korea.

The movie is a cinematic adaption of the popular Japanese basketball manga “Slam Dunk” (1990-96) that focuses on the stories that were not discussed in detail in the original. The film was written and directed by Takehiko Inoue, the writer of the original manga series.

With the rising popularity of the film, the original manga and other related merchandise have also soared in popularity throughout the country. Each “Slam Dunk” manga book landed within the top 20 spots on online bookstore YES24’s weekly bestseller rank last week, selling one million copies combined in February.

The animation has been watched by audiences of all generations, according to CGV.

Twenty-six percent of viewers were in their 20s, 34 percent in their 30s and 27 percent in their 40s. The rest were in their teens and 50s.

The ratio between male and female audiences were also similar, with 55.2 percent of tickets sold to men and 44.8 percent to women.