Studio Ghibli’s animated adventure movie The Boy and the Heron is continuing to blaze a trail for anime, in Europe, Asia and North America.
Following its Golden Globes win last week, the first ever for a non-English animated feature, the movie has crossed multiple box office milestones in Europe.
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Pic has grossed £3.9M at the UK box office to date, making it Hayao Miyazaki’s highest-grossing title ever in the UK and Ireland, beating the likes of Spirited Away (£1.1m, 2003), Howl’s Moving Castle (£999k, 2005) and Ponyo (£880k, 2010).
It is also the second-highest grossing anime title of all time in the UK and Ireland box office, behind only Pokemon: The First Movie (£11.7M, 2000), and it has become the biggest anime release in the UK and Ireland in more than 20 years.
The movie has already become the top-grossing original anime film ever released in North America ($42M and counting) and Japan ($56M).
In Italy, the film is tracking to be about five times more than the largest Japanese anime to date, having beaten any previous animes by the third day of release. It currently stands at $4.3M after being released first week of January.
In Germany, it has seen the third-highest opening weekend of all time for an anime title.
Hayao Miyazaki’s festival favourite charts the story of a young boy named Mahito. Yearning for his mother, he ventures into a magical realist world shared by the living and the dead. There, death comes to an end, and life finds a new beginning.
Anime is one of the genres to have seen a real boost from the growing global proliferation of international content. UK anime box office in both 2022 and 2023 has more than doubled any other year between 2010-2021.
Godzilla Minus One, another recent Japanese-language title, has also done well in the UK (and the U.S.). Both The Boy And The Heron and Godzilla Minus One were in the UK box office top ten over the Christmas period, which is an extremely rare — and potentially unprecedented — feat for two Japanese-language titles.
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