Makoto Shinkai’s hit continues to surpass Hayao Miyazaki anime in box office earnings.
Another week, another landmark film that’s been passed up by anime movie Your Name. At the end of November, director Makoto Shinkai’s latest release surpassed Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke, and now comes the announcement that Your Name’s domestic box office total has grown to more than that of another Miyazaki classic.
As of December 4, Your Name, which debuted on August 26, has brought in 19.957 billion yen (US$176.611 million), and in the process taken over the number-two position on Japan’s all-time domestic box office list for anime, which was previously held by Howl’s Moving Castle and its 19.6-billion yen take. This also makes Your Name the second-highest grossing Japanese-produced films regardless of medium, with only Spirited Away, another Miyazaki movie, above it.
But while some miraculous events unfold on-screen during Your Name, it’s unlikely to wrest the top spot from Spirited Away. Your Name made its first 10 billion yen in roughly a month, but has taken twice as long to draw as near as it is to the 20-billion mark. Barring some sort of development that rekindles peoples’ desire to see it in theaters, and in a major way, Your Name is unlikely to make it to 30 billion yen, let alone Spirited Away’s 30.4 billion yen, in earnings.
That doesn’t mean Your Name is entirely out of opportunities to add to its list of achievements. On the list of the biggest box office hits in Japan of all time, irrespective of country origin (a list also topped by Spirited Away), Your Name is currently hovering at number five, but it’s just a stone’s throw away from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which pulled in 20.3 billion yen in Japan.
The two other movies separating Spirited Away and Your Name are Frozen and Titanic, which should make it crystal-clear how much of an impact Your Name could have on the movie industry in Japan. As the first true blockbuster anime of the post-Miyazaki era, it’s also the first to really prove that there’s an immense desire for anime movies even if they don’t have the Studio Ghibli logo at the start of them, and hopefully Shinkai’s success will lead to other talented anime creators getting the backing they need to bring their artistic visions to the big screen.