The Boy and the Heron The Boy and the Heron

Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning The Boy and the Heron enjoyed its best opening yet, courtesy of China, where it earned $73 million over the five-day Qingming Festival holiday period (with $34.9m of that amount from the traditional Friday-Sunday weekend).

This figure makes China the biggest theatrical market for The Boy and the Heron, exceeding the box office of its native Japan, where it has earned $61 million to date.

An even more remarkable statistic comes via the Hollywood Reporter, which reported that the film’s Thursday gross is the “biggest single-day performance ever by a non-Chinese animated film, earning $23.7 million (RMB 171.5 million).” The previous record holder was Frozen 2, which earning RMB 167.6 million on November 23, 2019.

The Chinese performance of Studio Ghibli’s latest film is part of a recent mini-trend in the country, in which Japanese animated features have outperformed American fare. Other recent anime that has delivered strong numbers in China include Suzume ($114m) and The First Slam Dunk ($93m).

Universal-Dreamworks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 4, which just finished its third weekend in China, currently has earned $42.7m in the market.

Worldwide, The Boy and the Heron has now grossed $273.1m, and after its China run concludes, should end up north of $300m, making it Miyazaki’s second-highest grossing film after Spirited Away.

In the U.S., the film became the all-time highest-grossing original anime release with a box office take of $46.6m. It is set to release on the Max streaming service at a to-be-announced date later this year.


Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Cartoon Brew's Publisher and Editor-at-large.