The famous animator Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song, The Boy and the Heron, dominated the Japanese box office.
According to ComicBook, overseas box office watchers reported The Boy and the Heron grossed more than $11.3 million in domestic ticket sales during the film’s opening weekend, making the film the biggest hit. The film has the second-highest debut at the Japanese box office among Studio Ghibli works. This puts it right behind Miyazaki’s 2001 classic Spirited Away, which earned $13.1 million in its first three days in theaters in Japan and is also the highest-grossing Ghibli film of all time. with a total of $395.8 million at the worldwide box office.
Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli deliberately withheld details regarding the film’s story, even opting out of marketing campaigns that often lead to a grand premiere. Lead producer Toshio Suzuki previously explained why Studio Ghibli decided to forgo most of the promotional material for Miyazaki’s supposed final film, with the executive saying he believes the Revealing too much information will only reduce interest in the film. He also compared the buzz surrounding The Boy and the Heron to the numerous trailers and sneak peeks of most Hollywood blockbuster titles.
What is The Boy and the Heron?
“There’s an American movie — well, I almost said the title out loud — coming out this summer around the same time. [as The Boy and the Heron],” Suzuki said. “They made three trailers for it and released them one by one. If you watch all three, you know everything that happens in that movie. So how do moviegoers feel about that? Surely there are people who, after watching the trailer, still don’t want to actually go to the movies. So I want to do the opposite of that.”
Miyazaki also discussed his inspiration for The Boy and the Heron. The animator said that while The Boy and the Heron introduced an origin story, he took the theme of his latest film from Yuzo Yamamoto and Genzaburo Yoshino’s 1937 novel How You Lived ?, a classic of Japanese literature that discusses the troubles of growing up. an adult and what it means to be a virtuous person. Suzuki further stated that Miyazaki wanted to make The Boy and the Heron for his grandson as a way of saying, “Grandpa is moving on to the next world, but he’s leaving this movie behind.”
The Boy and the Heron is scheduled to release in North America sometime in 2023.