Studio Khara confirmed on Thursday that there have been “acts of slander, threats, and suggestions of crimes against individuals involved in the production” of Evangelion: 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon A Time (Shin Evangelion Gekijō-ban :||), the “final” Evangelion film, in the form of misinterpretations of the film’s content and related articles.
The studio stated that it will “protest slander, threats, comments that suggest criminal intention, and any other actions that undermine” the staff’s dignity stemming from personal dissatisfaction with the released film. Studio Khara will take legal action and seek damage compensation for statements that constitute defamation, threats, death threats, and other related crimes. The studio will report to the National Police Agency of Japan for domestic instances and to investigative agencies in other countries for foreign affairs.
In The Professional program’s documentary special on director Hideaki Anno‘s life during the film’s production, Anno talked frankly about the Internet threats and disturbing fan messages that came after the earlier Evangelion anime projects. Khara posted a notice in March to warn against the unauthorized recording and uploading of footage from the film.
The film opened in 466 theaters in Japan on March 8, and sold 33.6% more tickets for 45.1% more yen than the previous Evangelion film during their respective first seven days. The staff had delayed the film from January 23 to March 8, after careful consideration due to the new state of emergency declared in four prefectures in Japan on January 8, and then extended to a total of 11 prefectures. The film had an earlier delay due to concerns over the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its spread inside and outside of Japan. The film was originally scheduled to open in Japan on June 27, 2020.
The film ranked #1 in its opening weekend. The film sold 2,194,533 tickets for 3,338,422,400 yen (about US$30.6 million) in its first seven days in 466 theaters in Japan. The film sold 33.6% more tickets for 45.1% more yen than the previous Evangelion film during their respective first seven days. The film earned the equivalent of US$3.4 million in 38 IMAX theaters during its first seven days— the second-highest opening week for IMAX screenings of a domestic title in Japan, behind only last year’s Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train. Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 also played in 82 theaters equipped for 4D screenings.
In its third week, the film surpassed the domestic earnings of Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, which earned a total of 5.3 billion yen. The new film is now the highest-earning film in the series domestically and internationally.