"Attack on Titan," Shinji Higuchi's two-part dark fantasy, based on Hajime Isayama's best-selling comic about teens battling human-eating giants, debuted atop the Japanese box office for the 1-2 August weekend.

Opening on 427 screens, with Toho distributing, part one earned US$ 5.1 million on 467,000 admissions. Part two, "Attack on Titan: End of the World," will open on 19 September 2015.

The film, which takes considerable liberties with Isayama’s original, has divided fans and critics, with one writing he hoped the giants would devour all the teenaged protagonists before the credit crawl. Director Higuchi has responded in kind on Twitter, stirring up a media storm in the process.

In second place was "Minions," distributed by Toho-Towa, which scored US$ 4.4 million on 449,000 admissions. The first "Despicable Me" film earned US$ 10 million in 2010 and the second US$ 20 million in 2013.

Originally, Tetsuya Nakashima was tasked to direct the film in the latter part of 2011. However, he left his position after he had considerable creative differences with the producers on the scriptwriting and other matters. In December 2013, Higuchi was tapped to replace Nakashima and was also asked to handle the special effects.

Attack on Titan began serialization in Kodansha's monthly publication Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine in its September 2009 issue. The chapters are collected and published into tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, with the first released on 17 March 2010. The most recent, volume sixteen, was released on 9 April 2015.

As of November 2014, the manga had 45 million copies in print. The series' twelfth collected volume was given a first printing of 2.2 million copies, making Attack on Titan one of only two manga series ever to get an initial print surpassing 2 million, the other being One Piece.

Aside from the movie, production work is currently being undertaken to produce video games, guidebooks and a sequel to the anime television series adaptation.

The story of Attack on Titan centers around the adventures of Eren Yeager, his foster sister, Mikasa Ackerman, and their childhood friend, Armin Arlert. After the wall which protects their hometown of Shinganshina is breached by Titans, Eren watches in horror as one of them eats his mother. Vowing to kill all the Titans, Eren enlists in the military, along with his friends.