China Box Office: “The Boy and the Heron” by Hayao Miyazaki Soars to $73M During the Holiday Weekend

China Box Office: “The Boy and the Heron” by Hayao Miyazaki Soars to $73M During the Holiday Weekend

Master of Japanese animation Hayao Miyazaki is as well-known in China as he is worldwide. The Boy and the Heron, the Oscar-winning swan song of the 83-year-old filmmaker, released in China last Wednesday in order to capitalize on the nation’s Qingming public holiday. By Sunday, the picture had made $73 million, surpassing its combined earnings in Japan ($61 million) and North America ($46.6 million).

Godzilla vs. Kong: The New Empire, a monster movie from Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros. that made $36 million over the course of the four-day holiday weekend, was easily surpassed by the Studio Ghibli production. At $93.5 million, Godzilla vs. Kong has made the most money of any Hollywood film in China in a number of months, according to reports.

The Boy and the Heron is now expected to gross $106.5 million, while Godzilla vs. Kong is expected to gross $121.9 million, according to Chinese ticketing service Maoyan. However, the company’s projections are sometimes subject to significant change.

Qingming holiday, often called Tomb Sweeping Day in China, is a customary time to honor one’s ancestors. The occasion has also grown in importance as a time to see movies in recent years. The holiday release window for this year broke the 2021 record for the most tickets sold.

Chinese audiences have been selecting Japanese animation over Hollywood imports in the animation genre, a trend that has been sustained by The Boy and the Heron. Kung Fu Panda 4, a Dreamworks Animation film that is almost finished with its Chinese distribution, has increased to $42.7 million. That’s a significant improvement over the majority of recent American animated pictures, but it’s a far cry from Kung Fu Panda 3’s incredible $154.3 million opening weekend back in the 2016 bubble.

In contrast, Japanese anime has been steadily growing. Suzume, an anime hit by Makoto Shinkai, made $114 million last year, while The First Slam Dunk, an animated film from Toei Animation, made $93 million. With $138.7 million, Universal’s Fast X was the only foreign film to make more money in China in 2023.

China currently has $2.5 billion in money from ticket sales for 2024, 6.2 percent more than it did at the same period previous year.

Sanchita Patil

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