Avatar: The Way of Water didn’t stand a chance against this fan fave.

Japan is probably one of the few countries in the world where anime films trump Hollywood films in the box office, and here’s a new example. Anime film The First Slam Dunk has held the top spot in Japan’s box offices since its movie theater debut at the beginning of December.

▼ In case you haven’t watched it yet, here’s a preview to pump you up.

The film is based on the bestselling 1990s manga series Slam Dunk. It’s likely overtaken globally bigger names like Avatar because it’s considered a classic among anime/manga fans, and due to the fact that it’s the first feature-length film based on the series. The Slam Dunk series also has some lovable characters and a classic underdog story.

Coming second in the box office for the sixth week in a row was SuzumeMakoto Shinkai’s newest work–and Avatar: The Way of Water debuted at a solid third place. If you’re curious, here’s the full top 10 box office ranking for last week:

1. The First Slam Dunk
2. Suzume
3. Avatar: Way of the Water
4. Dr. Coto’s Clinic
5. Fragments of the Last Will
6. That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime the Movie: Scarlet Bond
7. Phases of the Moon
8. Kaguya-sama: Love is War
9. One Piece Film Red (on the top 10 list for 20 weeks running!)
10. Black Adam

In total, five out of the top 10 movies are anime films. If that doesn’t say anything about the power of anime in Japan, we’re not sure what will. Netizens also chimed in on the box office rankings:

“Top place for three weeks running!”
“I can’t believe Avatar debuted at third.”
“Slam Dunk sure is powerful.”
“One Piece is hanging in there.”

If you’re in Japan and have the chance to catch a movie, you might love The First Slam Dunk as much as the rest of Japan! Let’s see how long it can hold the top spot.

Source: Eiga Natalie via Otaku.com
Top image: YouTube/Toei Animation

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