With “The Batman” still going strong three weeks into its theatri­cal run, a Japanese animated feature placed a surprise second atop the weekend box office tally.

It also helps that marketplace competition has been slim. The big­gest competitor this weekend was the anime “Jujutsu Kaisen 0,” which was released by Crunchyroll and Funima­tion, and took in an estimated $17.7 million in its first weekend in North America, where it was playing on 2,748 screens. The Japanese film is based on a best-selling manga and available to watch dubbed or with subtitles.

“Fans made this movie a big hit this weekend,” said Paul Dergarabe­dian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “It shows how passionate fans of anime are and how beautiful these films are when presented on the big screen.”

The “Jujutsu Kaisen” series, produced by manga artist Gege Aku­tami, depicts a high school boy who joins a secret organization to fight against spirits that bring misfortune to people. It has been serialized in Weekly magazine since 2018.

The new feature film was an enor­mous hit upon its release in Japan last December, trailing only a film based on the famous manga “Demon Slayer” after three days of release.

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