Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions Targeted for 2017 Release

April 4, 2016 at 8:18 am | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 4 Comments

A close-up of Dark Magician from a Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions trailer

The Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions movie will receive a theatrical release in the West in early 2017, reports World Screen (h/t ANN). The media industry publication also notes that 4K Media is at the entertainment mega trade show MIPTV this week where it is showcasing the film, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V season 2, and the rest of its Yu-Gi-Oh! catalog.

4K Media had originally expressed its aim to release Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions in late 2016 back at Kazuki Takahashi’s San Diego Comic Con Panel last July. The film opens in Japan on April 23.

A Production and Distribution Issue? Or Something Else…?

Despite only now attracting media attention, this detail about The Dark Side of Dimensions’ 2017 release has been included in 4K Media’s press materials since mid-February, so the company may have had this schedule change planned for quite some time. So what’s going on? Is there a production or distribution issue that is leading to a delay?

Not so, says one source familiar with the anime film distribution scene. Anime films have been getting bigger, more competitive releases. And because of the recent success that anime titles have been seeing in theaters, there are now more and better distribution opportunities for new anime movies coming down the pike.

Indeed, in the last year alone, four anime titles have managed to crack the top 25 list of highest grossing anime movies of all time. Three of them come from big-name franchises — The Last: Naruto the Movie (#25), Boruto: Naruto the Movie (#18), and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ (#9). The fourth is Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There (#23). Given 2015’s banner year for anime, it’s hardly surprising that more theaters would now want to capitalize on the anime surge, especially if it involves a marquee brand like Yu-Gi-Oh!.

“An early 2017 window is targeted as the best timing for both marketing and the ability for a wider and longer release,” said the industry insider, who declined to be named.

So rather than brushing this off as a mere delay, it’s perhaps more appropriate to examine it as an opportunity for a bigger, more successful release. If 4K Media needs a few extra months to push the movie to get a better run, it’s hard to view this schedule change as a setback.

4K Media, for its part, is staying mum about the new release schedule. When pressed for comments, the company stated only that “All official information will be communicated via press release.”


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  1. You don’t think it’s a little suspect that none of the “English” trailers actually feature English voice acting? Couple that with the release delay and I suspect production on the English version either hasn’t started or is really early.

  2. I agree that production on the English version either hasn’t started or is in its really early stages. Regarding the lack of voice acting in 4K Media’s trailer, I’m guessing that happened because it’s not reasonable to hire actors to only voice two minutes worth of dialog. (This is regardless of whether or not any casting or hiring decisions have even been made at this point in time.) In 4K Media’s defense, the trailer doesn’t call itself an English-language trailer, only a U.S. trailer. It’s only “English” in that it contains English text and is intended for an American audience.

  3. I brought the lack of English VA in the trailers not because I expected 4K to reunite the cast for 1 line, but rather, 1 additional line (that may or may not be taken from the movie’s dialogue) is nothing to have a voice actor do if you’re already recording the movie. The lack of English VA implied they hadn’t even gotten to that point. The delayed release pretty much confirms it.

  4. Very good point. There probably isn’t any dubbing being done then. Nevertheless, I’m still more inclined to trust that this delay is not due to casting or production issues. After all, 4K Media has known about the contents of the movie since at least late 2014, so it has had plenty of time to set a production timetable and cast actors. This move to an early 2017 release is a relatively new revelation, which makes me think that 4K Media learned something between July 2015 and the start of this year — something significant enough to warrant a change in plans. The huge successes of the Boruto and DBZ movies did come during the second half of 2015, so I would not be surprised if 4K Media was now using those as case studies to push distributors for a bigger, longer theatrical release. I trust what my insider described because it makes sense to me.

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