John from AN about Evangelion 1.0's U.S. theatrical run

Discussion of the new series of Evangelion movies ( "Evangelion Shin Gekijōban", meaning "Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition"). The final instalment is scheduled to debut in Japan on March 8, 2021.

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John from AN about Evangelion 1.0's U.S. theatrical run

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Postby Ornette » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:41 am

http://www.animenation.net/blog/2009/10/05/ask-john-why-is-evangelion-1-0-under-performing-in-america/

http://www.evageeks.org/2009/10/why-is-evangelion-1-0-underpeforming/
ZapX wrote:John Oppliger, an employee of AnimeNation.com who answers fan question about the anime industry and Japanese culture, recently addressed the lack of excitement and poor performance of Evangelion 1.0’s American distribution. He notes some potential causes such as screening in independent venues with little advertising, the delay in American licensing, and the views of many fans that the movies are simply a remake. So what do you think? As Eva fans, we get excited about any Evangelion related news but what about the non-diehards? Is 1.0 performing below expectations in the US? What are some of the reasons that there’s a lack of interest among American anime fans?

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Postby Fazmotron » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:37 am

Not one mention of Khara. I am dissapoint.
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Postby Electric Sachiel » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:40 am

It also doesnt help when local theaters (my case) showcase the film with less than stellar movie theater projectors....... -___-

Honestly i would have a pretty negative perspective of the Eva 1.0 movie if i had seen in the shitty quality i had to go through. Out of focus and faded images are a no no...

But yeah getting back to topic. Honestly the film got so little promotional attention that my theater only had 4 tickets bought in advance 3 weeks prior. And on the day of the screening Sept 30th....at most only about 30 people had bought tickets for the film. And these were people that were aged 20 and up with backpacks....otaku-ish appearance

-what with unshaven faces....glasses...hunched backs....and often coming alone.... Man.....yeah only the hardcores came for this one. :smirk:

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Postby backseatjesus » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:22 am

Doesn't help that it's 1.0 and not 1.11

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Postby scarmullet » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:06 am

It also doesnt help that The majority of us have already watched it in its entirety many times over, as well as 2.0.
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Postby Electric Sachiel » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:14 am

scarmullet wrote:It also doesnt help that The majority of us have already watched it in its entirety many times over, as well as 2.0.


Well no duh... This film came out two years ago. Just a few months after the first Michael Bay Transformers movie. So in essence its like trying to get people to watch the first Bay Transformers movie in theaters....2 years after the fact. Yes Eva 1.0 is not a new film anymore.

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Postby GasmaskAvenger » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:14 pm

If it was playing in Fresno, California, I would rush to a theatre to see it, since I haven't seen it yet & refuse to torrent it (Then again, I won't buy it on DVD until Spring 2010)
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Postby Grand Duke of Yashima » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:22 pm

The fact that it's dubbed is enough that I won't see the US theater release. I already own R2 and R3 DVDs and I'll buy the R1 mostly to support the release, as it were. But if it's not in the original Japanese I really don't want to see it.
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Postby Jedi_Master » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:24 pm

I was excited as hell when I heard about the American release and pissed as shit when I found out the nearest theatre showing it was 300 miles away! I really wanted to see it in a theatre but I'm not going to drive across three states to get a showing. Poor distribution!
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Postby Timstuff » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:56 pm

There are several reasons I can see people being dissinterested in Eva 1.0:

1. They see it as being largely a rehash of episodes 1-6 (and in all fairness, I agree)
2. Why pay $20 for the regular DVD now when I can wait for the Blu-Ray of 1.11? Personally, I have no plans of buying the 1.0 DVD.
3. It took forever to come out here
4. If I wasn't visiting this or other anime websites, would I even know it was coming out?
5. WTF was up with the miniscule theatrical release? There were like 4 theaters in the entire US who were actually showing it (minor exaggeration).

So there you have it. Considering that Eva 1.0 took like 2 years to reach the United States, and that it's largely a "been there, done that" affair, expectations for its performance shouldn't have been particularly high IMO. If Funi knows what's good for them, they'll get on localizing Eva 2.0 ASAP, because the longer it takes to come out here the less likely people will be to buy it. At least 2.0 has the advantage of being mostly new material, though.
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Postby Ornette » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:27 am

Grand Duke of Yashima wrote:The fact that it's dubbed is enough that I won't see the US theater release. I already own R2 and R3 DVDs and I'll buy the R1 mostly to support the release, as it were. But if it's not in the original Japanese I really don't want to see it.

There were limited screenings in the States (like in DC and Chicago) that were subbed. Those weren't even well advertised.

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Postby niyyuu » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:42 am

I was at Ohayocon 2009 (which took place in late January), and Matt Greenfield was heading an Eva discussion panel. When I brought up Rebuild (and, specifically, 1.0), he said that it was the exact same story "with better art."

Even when I pointed out that there were significant changes to the story (like the angel numbering scheme and THE ENTIRE LAST SCENE), he stuck to it. Unfortunately, I wasn't wholly aware at the time what a fool he really is, but those comments led me to believe that if the guy who (at the time) seemed like he would be in charge of bringing this to America thought it was more of the same, then there wouldn't be much of a chance of it being anything more than a blip on the radar.

HOWEVER, I am extremely excited for November! It will be showing at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which is a 10-minute drive from where I live now. :D

[EDIT: Even though I have some version of 1.0 and tend to not like English dubs, I'm still going to see it because I just know that 1.0 is one of those films that are just so much more awesome on the silver screen.]

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Postby Timstuff » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:35 am

The angel numbering was a minor change at best, and the ending, while new was pretty much the only noteworthy change in the whole movie, and could be summed up in one small paragraph. Say what you will about Greenfield, but I think he was right to hold his position because I think he was essentially right in saying that 1.0 is a prettied-up recap of e1-6. There are some minor changes, sure, but they're all blink-and-you-missed it. There's not really anything in 1.0 that's going to rock your world if you've already seen the 6 episodes it's based on.

If there's one positive thing I will say about 1.0's sameness in comparison to the show though, it's that when combined with the far out changes made in 2.0 it inspired me to be a bit more adventurous in the LAEM fan-script I've been toying with. :toothy:
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Postby whitefinger » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:18 pm

I don't really follow the anime industry anymore, so I had no idea this was coming to North America. My wife went to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs with our daughter and saw the trailer and told me about it. I searched a bit and found out it was coming to the same theatre (Calgary, AB) in about a week. I got very excited and pre-bought a ticket as I was worried it would sell out due to only two showings in two theatres in the city.

When the day came I was disappointed to see that only around 30 or 40 people attended, and no one dressed up for the cosplay competition. If I had to wager a guess, I'd say every single person in there was an otaku at some level and knew about the release because they follow the industry. There didn't seem to be much of an attempt to bring in a new audience. Add that to the fact that most of the people in the room had probably seen it already and the domestic DVD release only 2 months away, and you've significantly reduced your audience.

As far as the showing itself goes, it initially started with the wrong audio and they were figuring out the focusing for the first five minutes. About 10 minutes into it the audio switched to what I believe was the New Moon trailer (the fuck?). I think the whole thing was summed up by one of the people there when they said "I don't think they're taking this seriously."

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Postby Joseph the PRPD » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:44 pm

Why is it that some theaters have problems when it comes to 1.0. I'd hate to see people disappointed like that.
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Postby Electric Sachiel » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:52 pm

whitefinger wrote:
As far as the showing itself goes, it initially started with the wrong audio and they were figuring out the focusing for the first five minutes. About 10 minutes into it the audio switched to what I believe was the New Moon trailer (the fuck?). I think the whole thing was summed up by one of the people there when they said "I don't think they're taking this seriously."


My sympathies to you since your showing seemed to have been spoiled as well. I went with five other friends to my local 1.0 showing and they did it even worse. THe projector there was all out of focus and also blurred out all the colours on the film making 1.0 look more like a 15 year old film.

Lousy *****

At least they didnt screw up on the sound at my theater. But the fact they screwed with the HD image. Well thats just.....*****

Joseph the PRPD wrote:Why is it that some theaters have problems when it comes to 1.0. I'd hate to see people disappointed like that.


Yeah like the both of us? It really is a shame that people like us pay the price (literally since these were premium priced tickets for special events) for theater staff that dont really give a rats ass about these little small obscure films.

For christs sake. I was so surprised when the staff told me that they used old half broken projectors for special event screenings. Blasphemy!!! THough small in number ( i hope) its theater houses like these that bring even more hurt and deter even more people from seeing Anime/smaller films in theaters. Funimation should be hunting these guys down and demanding for compensation-a result of a less than stellar display.

Heck maybe i should complain to Funimation about this. :smirk:

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:43 pm

I only knew of the 1.0 San Fran (dub) showing from some postcard. It's some advertising, but could have been better.


And why's Ask John getting Renewal feature films (remastered Death & EoE, what Mangle is sitting on their asses with) mixed up with Rebuild of Evangelion? I know all the Re-s get confusing but still.
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Postby BC Baron » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:59 pm

As a frequent visitor to this website, I knew about the screening schedule for Rebuild 1.0 about two months in advance and, even though I had already downloaded and watched the subtitled film several times, I was really looking forward to seeing the dubbed version in, what I had hoped, would be a great big cinema, jam-packed with a huge crowd of similarly excited fans.

I tried to get the word out, so I could go with a group, but, unfortunately, I don't know many people who like NGE even half as much as I do. In the end, my best friend, who patiently tolerates most of my hobbies/obsessions, agreed to meet me there (Cambridge, MA) and watch it with me as a personal favor.

Turns out it was playing at a small hole in the wall community theatre in Harvard Square. I guess the people at Funimation figured it might attract students attending the nearby university. I don't know whether anyone reading this has ever attempted to actually park in the vicinity of Harvard Square, but I would not recommend it, especially if you already have concerns about high blood pressure. My friend circled around for about twenty minutes or so, but the place had no parking lot and he didn't want to risk his car getting towed, so he finally phoned me with an apology. He wanted to re-schedule, but this was back in mid-August and it was only being shown for that one weekend.

I was one of the lucky ones, as I found a semi-legal parking space a few blocks away and got there just in time to see it stag. I didn't notice any serious issues with the quality of either the video or audio, but I was still underwhelmed by the rather small screen, which had a distracting vertical seam running straight down the middle. I actually sat right in the front row just to try to simulate a big screen viewing experience. While I guess the speakers in the theatre were adequate, IMO they were no match for any average 5.1 home surround sound set up. The whole presentation just reeked of low-budget cost cutting.

The seats weren't particularly comfortable and the place wasn't even half full. Through most of the movie you could practically hear a pin drop. I spoke to a couple of people sitting in the row behind me during the ending credits, but nobody seemed particularly impressed with anything. All in all, a very forgetable experience.

I think Funimation (or whoever they subcontracted to handle the film's distribution) really dropped the ball. There was a negligible amount of advertising and a relatively small window of opportunity to actually see it in any one place. Did anyone even do any research to check out these venues or did they just go with the lowest bidder? Was this some weird kind of reverse psychology marketing strategy? Maybe they figured if everyone in the audience found the cinematic experience to be completely lacking, they would be more likely to eventually purchase the DVD and try for an improvement in quality from their own living rooms. I must admit, since it looks like I won't have another chance to see it with my friend at an actual cinema, that appears to be my sole contingency plan.
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Re: John from AN about Evangelion 1.0's U.S. theatrical run

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Postby DIDDY » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:40 pm

In response to the OP (didn't read the whole thread):

Lack of advertizing, and also: 1.0 sucked (especially the dub). Everyone I spoke to hated it, die-hard fans and noobs alike. Of the 40 people who showed up, about 15 stayed throughout the movie. So, no advertising, no positive word of mouth: no audience.

I hope 2.0 is much better.
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Re: John from AN about Evangelion 1.0's U.S. theatrical run

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Postby Rock-Slash » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:51 pm

DIDDY wrote:I hope 2.0 is much better.

You're in for a disappointment.


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