The Japanese movie business is something like a restaurant where new cooks and waiters arrive as old ones retire or die, but the menu remains much the same, decade after decade.

This year, similar to every year going back to the 1980s and beyond, the big local films at the box office were either new installments of venerable anime series — with “Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer” (¥9.1 billion) and “Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Treasure Island” (¥5.3 billion) leading the list — or live-action films based on properties from other media and backed by media conglomerates known as “production committees.”

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