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Shinkai's 'Weathering With You' Scores Big Box Office and Oscar Submission

Makoto Shinkai's Your Name was a huge box-office and critical smash, breaking all sorts of records and winning numerous awards. His next film was always going to have its work cut out for it to live up to such expectations. Remarkably though, his new film Weathering With You seems to be doing an impressive job.

The movie opened in Japan on July 19, and is already the country's second highest grossing film of the year (ahead of Avengers Endgame, The Lion King and Toy Story 4) and is currently the country's 30th highest grossing film of all time, and the 10th highest grossing Japanese film. The only other animated films on that list are Miyazaki films and Your Name. The film has earned over 10 billion Yen (around $94 million) and is only the 10th Japanese film to do so.

It's still some way off the $361 million global total earned by Your Name but Weathering With You has so far only opened in Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. But it's a strong indicator that Your Name was no fluke and that Shinkai has quickly established himself as a household name in Japan- something that few anime directors outside of Hayao Miyazaki have ever achieved.

Not only that but Japan has decided to submit Weathering With You as the country's official selection for The International Feature Film category at the 2020 Oscars (formally the Foreign Language category). It's the first time that an animated film has been chosen since Princess Mononoke back in 1998.

Of course, the mere act of submission in no way guarantees that it will make the shortlist, and it still will need to contend with the Academy's bias against animation. We wouldn't bet on it actually making the cut, but it's still a prestigious honour for any film to be chosen to represent its country on the world stage, no matter the outcome.

Weathering With You will be released in the US via GKIDS Films, with an awards qualifying run later this year followed by a full release in 2020. The North American premiere will take place next month at the Toronto International Film Festival.  No UK release has been announced at this time.