cartoon has proven to be one of the most popular formats for viewing in theaters, with box office sales sometimes surpassing even traditional Hollywood films. While some releases like One Piece Film: Red and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train aren’t necessarily released by big-name studios like Warner Brothers or Universal, they can still get an amazing reception. amazed at the ticket sales that made them super popular all over the world. To this day, fans continue to head to theaters to see their favorite anime characters on the big screen with the upcoming Spy x Family: Code White being the next highly anticipated film to be released. . Still, it has a lot to live to see how profitable some of its other theatrical predecessors have been.
This list will look at the top ten highest-grossing animated films of all time. For simplicity, only worldwide box office totals converted to US dollars are considered. There are bound to be more surprises to come as some very popular assets have yet to make the top 10 today, but they are all based on current numbers unadjusted for inflation. Without further ado, here are the 10 highest-grossing animated films as of 2023.
10 Weathering With You – $193 million
The sequel to Makoto Shinkai’s hit 2016 film Your Name, Weathering With You, has received unrelenting praise from both critics and fans around the world. This sweet romance about a girl who can control the weather captured the attention of viewers everywhere as it won the Oscar for Japanese Version of the Year in 2020 This acclaim easily delivered to the box office with a staggering $193.7 million worldwide. It is a great sequel to Shinkai’s most popular film and makes him an unmissable director on the big screen.
9 Jujutsu Kaisen 0 – 196.3 million USD
The prequel to the hit Jujutsu Kaisen series takes the next spot with a whopping $196.3 million worldwide. What’s amazing though is that this series wouldn’t have been on this list if they had properly executed the original plan to turn it into a series. Instead, the decision to make it into a movie sent fans flocking to see the big screen the ever-expanding world of sorcerers and Cursed Souls that prompted manga and anime adaptations. it became famous.
8 Ponyo – 204.8 million USD
The first of quite a few Studio Ghibli films on this list, Ponyo comes in with an impressive $204.8 million worldwide. Hans Christian Andersen’s loose retelling of The Little Mermaid has grown into a cult film over the years with some claiming it is director Hayao Miyazaki’s most underrated film yet. It was a sweet little story that clearly touched the hearts of millions as it is still cherished to this day with annual re-releases as part of Ghibli Fest. Ponyo even surpassed some of Ghibli’s most beloved films including Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke.
Howl’s 7 Moving Castles – $237.5 million
Keeping the Ghibli train moving is Miyazaki’s 2004 film Howl’s Moving Castle. The abstract story of a woman cursed by a witch who moves in with a local witch has been considered one of the most beloved fantasy films of all time. It was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, trailing only Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Still, it deserves its place in history with fans coming to see it in theaters for an impressive $237.5 million gross. The characters and story are rich, and the film’s multi-layered story makes you feel like watching over and over again.
6 One Piece Movie: Red – $246.6 million
Probably the most talked about movie of 2022 for anime fans, One Piece Film: Red has completely dominated the global box office with a whopping $246.6 million. This musical action adventure has raked in some impressive numbers in the US as it pushes the One Piece story forward while also being a refreshing entry that fits the spirit of the series. It easily surpassed every other film in the franchise while also breaking the records of other animated films that came out before it. While it has never been the biggest box office break, it’s still an impressive feat for Luffy and his crew with their latest big-screen adventure.
First 5 Slam Dunk – $258.6 million
Perhaps the most shocking entry on this list, The First Slam Dunk is a sports anime based on a ’90s manga created by Takehiko Inoue, who also directed the film. This sports story has received numerous awards around the world, even winning Best Animated Feature Film of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards. It currently stands at $258.6 million worldwide, but this number is likely to continue to grow as it has yet to be released in the US or Canada. If word of mouth continues to spread, it could continue to rise and become one of the best animated movies of all time.
4 Suzume – 322.5 million USD
Director Makoto Shinkai returns to the list with his latest film, Suzume, which absolutely dominated the box office. This story is about a young girl who comes across a mysterious boy whose job is to close the supernatural doors that open across Japan, causing natural disasters. It is a love letter to Japan and its beautiful but sometimes cruel nature. Suzume’s current $322.5 million box office gross is well-deserved, having received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike with a spectacular theatrical opening that surpasses One Piece Film: Red.
3 Your Name – $382.2 million
This shortlisted Your Name solidifies Makoto Shinkai as the next major Japanese director after Hayao Miyazaki. His films have found a way to reach a wide audience around the world with his tight subject matter and stunning filmmaking. However, Your Name is arguably his best film yet, grossing $382.2 million globally. This sci-fi body swap story has been so well received that it has become an all-time cartoon classic and is highly recommended for anyone looking to start using the medium. . Its character work, writing, and extraordinary ending make it one of the best stories out there.
2 Spirited Land – $395.6 million
It’s no surprise that the film, hailed as Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece, has become one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time since its debut in 2003. This fantasy story has praised for its touching visuals and script, which plunge viewers into a bizarre spirit world. that is wonderfully explored through its characters. However, the film’s $395.6 million worldwide box office receipt was largely due to its resounding Oscar win when Miyazaki took home the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. This put the film on the map and made it a must-see for movie fans as it continues to hit theaters. It continues to make money today as well as being a highlight of the annual Ghibli Fest with this year also seeing a theatrical screening of Spirited Away: Live on Stage alongside it.
1 Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train – $507.1 million
After 17 years at the top, Spirited Away was finally dethroned as the highest-grossing anime film of all time by the first Demon Slayer film, which was released in October 2020. The sequel to the animated series This hit image brought together fans around the world for an even more important event when COVID-19 closed so many movie theaters that year. Mugen Train has overcome many of the films that were released before the quarantine including Bad Boys for Life and Sonic the Hedgehog, and beat Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. It’s an incredible feat that has yet to be topped, and it could be a long time before an animated movie beats it.
Looking at this list, it’s surprising to see that popular franchises like Pokémon or Dragon Ball have never made it into the Top 10 due to their popularity when their respective movies were released. However, that says a lot about the current state of anime. These mediums have been so popular over the decades that they can become solid box office contenders. Impressive to see how far cartoon appeared as it was the leading contender to be one of the highest-grossing vehicles in the entertainment world.