Entertainment website Variety reports on Dec 10, 2023, that Hayao Miyazaki & Studio Ghibli’s blockbuster film “The Boy and the Heron” hit the North American theatres on Dec 8 and already bagged $12.8 million in its opening weekend, becoming the first original anime movie to top the US Box Office.
The theatrical release grossed $5,588,202 on Friday, $3,992,926 on Saturday, and a projected $3,255,185 on Sunday.
This is the third Japanese film to do so since Pokémon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1999) and Dragon Ball Super Super Hero (2022).
Mewtwo Strikes Back earned $31,036,678 in its first weekend between November 12-14, 1999, grossing more than double the likes of The Bone Collector, Dogma, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc at that time. Similarly, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero bagged $21,126,919 between August 19-21, 2022, earning more than double that of Beast, Bullet Train, Top Gun: Maverick and Thor: Love and Thunder.
The Boy and the Heron had already won 3 awards in the US, such as “Best Animated Feature” at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Best Animation at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and Best Animated Film from the Boston Society of Film Critics.
(The Boy and the Heron official English poster)
About the Boy and the Heron:
The Boy and the Heron is a 2023 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Produced by Studio Ghibli, the Japanese title references the 1937 novel of the same name by Genzaburō Yoshino, which appears in the film, but the film has an original story that is not connected to the novel.
The Boy and the Heron was theatrically released in Japan on July 14, 2023, by Toho and was was noted for its intentional absence of any promotion, with Ghibli choosing not to release any trailers, images, synopsis or casting details of the film in advance of its Japanese premiere with the exception of a single poster.
GKIDS describes the overall plot of The Boy and the Heron as follows:
A young boy named Mahito, yearning for his mother, ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.