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Miyazaki's 'The Boy And The Heron' Tops Box Office Chart.

It's fair to say that 2023 has not been a banner year for the US box-office. Disney have had their worst year in recent memory and other studios haven't fared much better. There have been a few bright spots- The Super Mario Bros Movie, Spider-Man Across The Spiderverse- but mostly it's not been the best year for animation. It's doubly good news that the year is ending on a high point. Hayao Miyazaki's latest feature The Boy And The Heron topped the Box-Office Chart in the United States on its opening weekend.

The Boy And The Heron was released on December 8 (excluding previews) and raked in a total of over $12.8 million. This is the first time a film by Miyazaki has ever topped the charts, and is also the first number one from GKIDS Films. Their previous best was a number seven finish from Belle last year. It's also the first original anime to ever reach number one and is projected to out-gross the current top-grossing film from Studio Ghibli, which was Arriety which took $19 million.

The film was released in Japan in July taking in $13.2 million (1.83 billion yen) in its opening weekend, setting a new record for Studio Ghibli. As of December 10, it had taken in ¥8.61 billion. It took in an additional $41 million from 9 other countries, bringing its global total to $97.2 million.(not including the US and Canada).

What saw this sudden surge in mainstream success after all this time? Miyazaki and Ghibli's reputations have only grown over time. It doesn't hurt that their library is so much more accessible now, streaming in the US on Max and on Netflix internationally. Factor in that this is the first Miyazaki movie in a decade and extremely positive word-of-mouth and the film had an awful lot going for it. This is also the widest release yet from GKIDS and the first Ghibli movie to be released in IMAX.

It's been reported in some places that this is Miyazaki's final movie, but Toshio Suzuki stated he believed that Miyazaki will keep making films until he dropped dead. 

It's true that it's due to a quieter time at the box-office that the film was able to top the box office. Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train outgrossed it in their opening weekend but didn't top the charts. Still, a Miyazaki movie at number one is a wonderful thing to see.