‘The Boy And The Heron’ scores biggest ever opening weekend for Hayao Miyazaki

Studio Ghibli’s new movie sets box office record Jun Sato.

Studio Ghibli’s minimal marketing for its new movie The Boy and the Heron appears to have initially paid off.

The film, originally titled How Do You Live? in Japanese, was produced for Studio Ghibli, the world-renowned animation house co-founded by Miyazaki, 82.

Ghibli co-founder and president Toshio Suzuki reportedly defended his strategy by saying: “In my opinion, in this age of so much information, the lack of information is entertainment. I don’t know if this will work. But as for me, I believe in it.”

The movie has nevertheless made a huge splash in its home country, earning the studio its biggest-ever debut at the box office in yen with 1.83 billion yen ($13.2 million) across its opening weekend.The figure makes it the biggest opening weekend in the history of Studio Ghibli.

“As part of company operations, over the years Ghibli has wanted people to come see the movies we’ve made. So we’ve thought about that and done a lot of different things for that purpose – but this time we were like, ‘Eh, we don’t need to do that,’”  Suzuki said.

Miyazaki’s 2001 animation Spirited Away was the highest-grossing film in the country’s history, taking in 31.68bn yen ($305m) in Japan. It held the record for 19 years, before being surpassed in 2020 by Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train.

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