‘The Boy and the Heron’ Sets U.S. B.O. Record for Original Anime in US

For the first time in Hayao Miyazaki’s decades-spanning career, the 82-year-old Japanese anime master is No. 1 at the North American box office in 10 days of release . THe film becomes Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli’s highest grossing film released in N. America.

“The Boy and the Heron,” the long-awaited animated fantasy from the director of “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro” and other cherished anime classics, is only the third anime to ever top the box office in U.S. and Canadian theaters and the first original anime to do so. The film, which is playing in both subtitled and dubbed versions, is also the first fully foreign film to land atop the American domestic box office this year.

Not only has the pic hit nine figures worldwide ($109.9 million), but the touching fantasy-adventure from Studio Ghibli has become the highest-grossing U.S. release for an original (non-franchise) anime feature ($23.14M domestic).

Heron pulls ahead of previous Ghibli originals The Secret World of Arrietty (2012, $19.M), directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and Miyazaki’s Ponyo (2009, $15.1M) into the U.S. all-time anime Top 10. Other top films hail from global hit franchises including Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dragon Ball and Pokémon.

Though Miyazaki’s movies have often been enormous hits in Japan and Asia, they’ve traditionally made less of a mark in North American cinemas. The director’s previous best performer was his last movie, 2013’s “The Wind Rises,” which grossed $5.2 million in its entire domestic run.

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