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'Dragon Ball' anime powers Toei back to profit growth

Mobile game based on franchise also contributes to turnaround

The animated film "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" grossed over 3 billion yen.
The animated film "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" grossed over 3 billion yen.   © Bird Studio/Shueisha/2018 Dragon Ball Super the Movie Production Committee

TOKYO -- The success of the latest "Dragon Ball" film appears to have given Toei enough ki energy to eke out an increase in consolidated profit in the latest fiscal year, defying the contraction that had been anticipated.

The Japanese entertainment company is expected to report Wednesday a 10% rise in sales to 137 billion yen ($1.25 billion) in the year ended March, up 15.2 billion yen from the current guidance. The bottom line was previously projected to shrink 17% to 8.8 billion yen, but the added sales generated another 2 billion yen in black ink.

The animated movie "Dragon Ball Super: Broly" enjoyed box office receipts of over 3 billion yen, as did the live action film "Fly Me to the Saitama." Those blockbusters lifted Toei's distribution revenues, and the increased customer traffic provided an additional tailwind to the company's movie theater business.

The "Dragon Ball" series was a golden goose when it came to mobile games. The title Dragon Ball Z Dokkan Battle was a viral hit both at home and abroad. The consolidated subsidiary Toei Animation owns the copyright to the game, which brought it an influx of royalty payments and revenue from in-game fees.

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