Thirty years after it was first released in Japanese theaters, Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro opened in China this weekend. It launched in second place with $12.9 million, second only to Aquaman.

It is the first Studio Ghibli film to receive a theatrical release in that country.

The film’s gross is particularly notable because Miyazaki’s work is well known in China and many fans have already seen his films on dvd or on the internet. It’s also a testament to the longevity of animation, wherein an animated film that was produced thirty years ago (using hand-drawn animation no less) can still beat out all-new competition.

Released by Chinese distributor SCLA, the digitally restored version of Totoro was available in both a subtitled Japanese version and a Chinese-dubbed version. Studio Ghibli is reportedly negotiating the rights to other films from its back catalog for China release.

Here is Totoro’s Chinese poster:

"My Neighbor Totoro."

Amid Amidi

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