Makoto Shinkai’s latest feature Suzume opened in Japan on Friday and earned 1.386 billion yen ($13.5 million) in just its first three days in cinemas.
Suzume’s opening haul is a personal best for Shinkai. According to Crunchyroll, which will handle North American distribution for the film along with Wild Bunch International, Suzume made 114.7% of Weathering With You’s three-day opening, Shinkai’s previous best back in 2019.
The $13.5 million debut for Suzume is also the 9th-best three-day opening in Japanese box office history.
Although Suzume’s opening weekend was the best of Shinkai’s career so far, there is no guarantee the film’s total take will finish close to the final Japanese gross of Weathering With You ($131.5 million USD), and it seems highly unlikely that the film will catch up to Your Name ($233.8 million). Those films may have had lower opening weekend totals, but they both launched during or just before Japan’s summer holidays, typically a better time of year for films to enjoy a long and profitable run at the box office.
To top this year’s Japanese box office, Suzume would need to catch up to the smash hit One Piece: Film Red, which opened on August 6 and has earned $123 million to date. Across the Pacific, One Piece has struggled to make a similar impact and dropped a staggering 84.5% in its second weekend in North American cinemas, earning just $1.45 million ($12.7 million total).
Knowing that Suzume was destined for an epic opening in Japan, many cinemas screened back-to-back showings every day from morning to night, Friday through Sunday. Shinkai himself even attended a few shows to introduce the film, as did several main voice cast members.
Written and directed by Shinkai, Suzume is about a teenage girl on a desperate quest to close Doors of Disaster located all around Japan. Suzume is accompanied on her journey by a boy who has been magically transformed into a chair.
Numbers for Suzume were provided by Crunchyroll. All other figures were taken from Box Office Mojo.