Box office for latest in cartoon series is $22.5 mil

TOKYO — “One Piece Film: Strong World,” the latest entry in a long-running toon series about a super-powered teenage pirate, topped the Japanese B.O. Dec. 19-20 for its second weekend win in a row.

Bowing on Dec. 12, “One Piece” earned $22.5 million in its first eight days in release, beating distrib Toei’s previous company record. Cop thriller “Buddies” (Aibo), the record holder, needed 10 days to reach the same and finished with $50 million in 2008.

One Piece Film: Strong World,” the 10th in the series, easily beat the competition on Dec. 19, including the hit TV drama adaptation “Nodame Cantabile,” the toon mystery “Professor Layton and the Immortal Songstress,” kidpic “The Story of Ululu’s Forest” and “The Fourth Kind.”

Oricon rating service reported Dec. 17 that all 56 editions of the “One Piece” comicbook ranked in the top 200 of its comicbook paperback rankings. Launched in 1997 in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine by Eiichiro Oda, “One Piece” has sold 176 million copies in paperback editions.

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