News Commentary

Thoughts: Anime Industry Posts $200 Mil For 2009


As most know by now, ICv2 put out the latest numbers for the industry yesterday. They give an estimate of about $160-200 million in total sales for the industry. That’s not just FUNimation, not just Viz, not just Section23. That’s the entire anime industry in North America. I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

$200 million, by entertainment standards, isn’t much. For reference, I’ll just post some comparisons for you:

  • Halo Reach made $200 million in one day.
  • The Dark Knight made $158 million in it opening weekend
  • Avatar made $2 BILLION in its theatrical run

Anyone who argues $200 million is good? Well – I guess I’ll spit in a thimble and tell you it’s the ocean. The industry’s been trending downward for the past several years, and it looks to continue that pattern. And yet, people still have the balls to bitch when creators lash out at those who illegally distribute their work. I can’t say I’m not saddened by it. But, well… I’ve come to expect it. As a gamer, and as an anime fan, I’ve seen that a lot of people are growing increasingly willing to tell those they claim to idolize to go fuck themselves, so long as they can get what they want for free.

It’s a trend I’ve come to worry about, since it says a lot more about who we are as PEOPLE than it says about us as fans.
About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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