Canadian Theatrical News: Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
It’s hard to believe that we’re just a month shy of the sixth anniversary of the last Yu-Gi-Oh! film’s US theatrical release. My post on Bonds Beyond Time skipping Canada during its brief big screen run still stands as one of the most popular I’ve ever written. I suppose that’s a testament to the franchise’s enduring popularity that a frankly throwaway hour-long crossover could elicit such a response. I guess that’s why the franchise is spawning a seventh anime series. Bringing the fandom to its roots, to a time before Arc-V, Zexal, 5Ds and GX, the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! theatrical feature is a twentieth anniversary celebration of the original manga series’ debut in Weekly Shonen Jump. After a successful run in Japan last year, it’s headed to theatres in Canada and the U.S. late this month.
Long ago, when the pyramids were still young, Egyptian kings played a game of great and terrible power. These Shadow Games erupted into a war that threatened to destroy the entire world – until a brave and resourceful Pharaoh locked the magic away, imprisoning it within the mystical Millennium Items.
Centuries later, a boy named Yugi Muto unlocks the secret of the Millennium Puzzle. Infused with ancient magical energies, he summons forth the spirit of the Pharaoh from eons ago, for destiny has chosen him to defend the world from the return of the Shadow Games.
Teamed with an eclectic group of loyal friends against an extraordinary array of formidable foes, Yugi and the Pharaoh together battle to defeat forces of unimaginable evil. They ultimately succeed and prevent the world from plunging into darkness forever.
With their mission complete, Yugi and the Pharaoh hold one final match against each other to determine whether Yugi is capable of standing alone without the Pharaoh’s help. When the ritual duel of destiny ends with the Pharaoh’s defeat, the magical Millennium Items are buried deep beneath the Egyptian sands and the Pharaoh’s soul returns to whence it came.
And thus the story came to an end. Until now.
The stakes have never been higher; the rivalries never as fierce; the risks never so great. One wrong move—one card short—and it’s game over for good. A decade in the making, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions features new designs and an all-new story from the original creator of the global phenomenon, Kazuki Takahashi. His masterful tale features anime’s most beloved characters in their long-awaited return: Yugi Muto, Seto Kaiba, and their faithful friends Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor Téa Gardner, and Bakura. It’s the most highly anticipated re-YU-nion ever!
The pun in that last sentence is there just to remind people that while 4Kids Entertainment is gone, their spirit still resides in 4K Media. To be fair, they’ve pledged to produce an uncut adaptation and have brought back the entire original voice cast. Though, it’ll feature replacement music. All theatrical screenings will of course feature the English dub.
I’ve got to give it to Konami. For a limited release in North America, they’ve really got their ducks in a row. There’s the obligatory TCG tie-in, a new mobile game launch, two new manga chapters by Kazuki Takahashi in Viz’s Shonen Jump, and a free card with ticket purchase.
If you’re a regular reader of our Canadian Theatrical News features, you’ll have noticed two distinct trends when it comes to releases up here. There’s the arthouse/cult venue runs that last for a couple of days but hit fewer than 10 cities, or the far more widespread, but far more time sensitive, one/two-night only screenings at various Cineplex locations. For the first time in a long time, we’ve got a release that doesn’t fall under either. Well, okay, it’s really just the second one with a different flavour. You see, rather than Cineplex, 4K Media and their distributor Screenvision have partnered up with Landmark Cinemas. I’m not sure how this deal came about (was Cineplex unwilling to book another anime event screening this month? Did Landmark make a point of grabbing Yu-Gi-Oh!?), but given Cineplex operates 162 locations nationwide, compared to Landmark’s 45, it’s fair to say that some cities that could’ve supported the film won’t be getting it. Sure, this is significantly better than the 0 Canadian engagements for Bonds Beyond Time, but given Canada is literally the only English-speaking market outside of Australia where the current Yu-Gi-Oh! television anime has a notable broadcast presence (making it one of the few anime franchises to still hold that title up here), we could probably do better than this. No experience with Landmark screenings, so I’ve got no idea if they’ll participate in the card giveaway.
|Calgary||Landmark Country Hills||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Calgary||Landmark Drayton Valley||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Calgary||Landmark Shawnessy||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Edmonton||Landmark City Centre||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Fort McMurray||Landmark Ft. McMurray||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Spruce Grove||Landmark Spruce Grove||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Sylvan Lake||Landmark Sylvan Lake||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Campbell River||Landmark Campbell River||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Courtenay||Landmark Courtenay||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Cranbrook||Landmark Cranbrook||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Fort St. John||Landmark Fort St. John||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Kelowna||Landmark Kelowna Grand||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Nanimo||Landmark Avalon||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|New Westminster||Landmark New Westminster||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Penticton||Landmark Penticton||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Surrey||Landmark Surrey – Guildford||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|West Kelowna||Landmark West Kelowna||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Brandon||Landmark Brandon||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Winnipeg||Landmark Grant Park||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Winkler||Landmark Winkler||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Caledon||Landmark Bolton||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Hamilton||Landmark Hamilton||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Kanata||Landmark Kanata||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Kingston||Landmark Kingston||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Kitchener||Landmark Kitchener||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|London||Landmark London||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Orleans||Landmark Orleans||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|St. Catherine’s||Landmark St. Catherine’s||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Waterloo||Landmark Waterloo||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Whitby||Landmark Whitby||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
|Whitehorse||Landmark Whitehorse||01/28 @ TBA (Recliner)|
Yes, I did write that last paragraph entirely because I, an entitled resident of the centre of the universe, wanted to see The Dark Side of Dimensions and to do so, I have to travel two hours (there+back) … which I won’t. At least Toronto isn’t alone, as Vancouver and Montreal are also MIA. Together we can now emulate the feelings of every non-huge city dweller when they read the typical theatrical news post! First time in ages something is hitting one of the territories.
In case more locations are added, keep your eyes locked on Screenvision’s page.