CinemaCon, the annual gathering of theater owners and studios, kicked off yesterday. Crunchyroll, which has successfully distributed anime films such as Dragon Ball Super: Heroes, One Piece RED, and Jujutsu Kaisen 0 over the last few years, made their first presentation at CinemaCon this year.

While presenting footage of the highly anticipated film Spy x Family: Code White today, Crunchyroll announced three films it acquired rights to distribute. HAIKYU!! The Dumpster Battle, Blue Lock The Movie -Episode Nagi-, and OVERLORD: The Sacred Kingdom are all set for theatrical releases later this year. 

Courtesy of Crunchyroll

HAIKYU!! The Dumpster Battle celebrates the tenth anniversary of the anime adaptation of Haruichi Furudate’s beloved manga. The film is the first of two concluding the anime adaption (the manga ended in 2020). It premiered in Japan in February and as of 3/29, the highest grossing film of the year there.  The film opens in the US on May 31st directed by Susumu Mitsunaka and animation by Production IG.

“Shoyo Hinata joins Karasuno High’s volleyball club to be like his idol, a former Karasuno player known as the “Little Giant.” But, Hinata soon finds that he must team up with his middle school nemesis, Tobio Kageyama. Their clashing styles turn into a surprising weapon, but can they beat their rival Nekoma High in the highly anticipated “Dumpster Battle,” the long awaited ultimate showdown between two opposing underdog teams?”

Poster for Blue Lock the Movie - Episode Nagi -
Courtesy of Crunchyroll

Blue Lock The Movie -Episode Nagi- will debut in North America on June 28th. Based on the popular soccer anime, this will be the first film for that series. Similar to Jujutsu Kaisen 0 which was set before that series, this adapts the prequel spin off series portraying Seishiro Nagi’s rise through the BLUELOCK soccer program.  

“That’s a hassle.” That was second-year high schooler Nagi Seishiro’s favorite phrase as he lived his dull life. Until Mikage Reo, a classmate who dreamed of winning the World Cup, discovered Nagi’s hidden skill, inspiring him to play soccer and share his outstanding talent. One day, he receives an invitation to the mysterious BLUE LOCK Project. What awaits him there is an encounter with the finest strikers assembled from across the country. Nagi’s dream of becoming the best, alongside Reo, will take this prodigy to a world he’s never known.

A prodigy can only be shaped when someone discovers him….now, striker Nagi Seishiro’s incredible talent and persona will set the soccer world ablaze.

Crunchyroll released a trailer.

Poster for Overlord The Sacred Kingdom
Courtesy of Crunchyroll

Finally there’s OVERLORD: The Sacred Kingdom set for release on July 5th. Fans waiting for more from the series get their wish as this film takes place after season fourth.

After twelve years of playing his favorite MMORPG game, Momonga logs in for the last time only to find himself transported into its world playing it indefinitely. Throughout his adventures, his avatar ascends to the title of Sorcerer King Ains Ooal Gown.

Once prosperous but now on the brink of ruin, The Sacred Kingdom enjoyed years of peace after construction of an enormous wall protecting them from neighboring invasions. But, one day this comes to an end when the Demon Emperor Jaldabaoth arrives with an army of villainous demi-humans.

Fearing invasion of their own lands, the neighboring territory of the Slane Theocracy is forced to beg their enemies at the Sorcerer Kingdom for help. Heeding the call, Momonga, now known as the Sorcerer King Ains Ooal Gown, rallies the Sorcerer Kingdom and its undead army to join the fight alongside the Sacred Kingdom and the Slane Theocracy in hopes to defeat the Demon Emperor.  

Crunchyroll presenting at CinemaCon is a big deal. CinemaCon is where studios sell theater owners on their big tentpole films for the next year. This year alone saw Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth present Furiosa, the casts of Wicked and Twisters talk about those movies, and the trailer for Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu drop.

Wide releases for anime films have become more commonplace. Films like the Demon Slayer franchise and One Piece Red got huge roll outs. Remember when ads for One Piece Red took over Times Square? That Sony, Crunchyroll’s parent company, saw fit to do a presentation at CinemaCon speaks highly about their faith in the company’s success in theatrical distribution. Especially in a year when theatrical output will be smaller due to the writers and actors strikes.

For anime fans, this should be a pretty fun time at the movies this summer.  Sound off in the comments on which of these films you’re excited to see this summer!