Exactly third week from my last post, Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.) successfully surpassed Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s “Ponyo” like I predicted.
Your Name. has now amassed a total of 16.41 billion yen in all-time sales, according to the Japan box office update for October 22-23. Your Name. attracted 360.000 people in the last weekend, adding 476 million yen to its revenue. Your Name. is now the 9th highest-grossing movie, the 5th highest-grossing Japanese movie, and the 4th highest-grossing Japanese animated movie in the all-time Japan box office. The movie has also consistently secured its 1st place in nine consecutive weeks.
This huge feat has earned Your Name. an even more special place in the history of Japanese films, being the only Japanese animated movie to beat not one, but two of Ghibli’s films. The movie’s 9-week 1st place streak has been compared to Frozen (final all-time sales: 25.5 billion yen), which had also claimed 1st place for ten consecutive weeks in this very week on 2014. It is now projected to soar over 20 billion yen and surpass Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke, both of which are Ghibli’s works. In other news, the movie has also won the “ARIGATO” award in the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival along with Shin Godzilla.
Your Name. is a movie about two teenagers, Taki and Mitsuha, who lives in different environments: Taki is a high school boy living in Tokyo who has an interest in fine arts, while Mitsuha is a high school girl from the countryside who wishes for a life in the city. It tells the story of both characters living the other’s life in their dreams, how they start getting drawn into each other, and the hidden secret behind it. Your Name. is directed by Makoto Shinkai, an animation director well-known for 5 Centimeters per Second and Garden of Words. You can check out my review about the movie and why it’s popular here.
Your Name.’s massive commercial success, whether owing to Makoto Shinkai’s prowess or TOHO Cinemas’ advertising, will probably have long-term impacts on how future Japanese animated movies are produced and marketed. We may see a shift towards the direction with more of these movies entering the mainstream media, even more than what we could’ve imagined before. On the other hand, the movie’s extraordinary achievement may bring about a rather hefty, imposing standard on Makoto Shinkai’s next work—and in a wider sense, on Japanese animated movies as a whole. Nonetheless, these changes should be welcomed with open arms, since it means we’re going to see even more amazing pieces of work in the upcoming years.