Studio Ghibli’s 2001 masterpiece Spirited Away held the record for the highest-grossing anime film of all-time until 2016’s Your Name came along. (Hopefully, there’s no ill-will between fans of the two movies, Avengers: Endgame vs. Avatar-style, because they’re great and everyone should watch them both.) The current count is $358.9 million vs. $331.3 million, but that could soon change now that Spirited Away is finally getting a very belated release in China.
All foreign films screened in China must win government approval. The Spirited Away release is a sign that Sino-Japanese relations are beginning to thaw after extended periods of tension. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have held bilateral talks at international events over the last couple of years and the Chinese leader will be in Osaka in June for the G20 economic summit. (Via)
Last year, My Neighbor Totoro became the first Ghibli movie to secure a release in China, and the childhood classic made more than $26 million. Spirited Away just needs to earn a measly $28 million to return to the top of the ranking, which would drop Your Name to number two followed by Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, and Stand by Me Doraemon. That’s based on worldwide box office, though: the highest-grossing anime in America is Pokemon: The First Movie.
No-Face ain’t got nothing on Pikachu, detective or otherwise, in the U.S.
(Via the Hollywood Reporter)