Studio Ghibli’s latest film, “The Boy and the Heron,” has been a big hit in Japan, selling over 3.6 million tickets and grossing over five billion yen in less than a month. The movie, directed by legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, premiered on July 14 and dominated the box office during its opening weekend. However, its performance has slightly dropped off in recent weeks, placing fourth in its fourth weekend.
“The Boy and the Heron” is a hand-drawn film that took a long time to create. Production began in 2016, and despite having a talented team of 60 animators, they were only able to come up with one minute of animation in a month. The story follows a young boy named Mahito Maki during the Pacific Conflict of World War II as he discovers a talking gray heron in an abandoned tower.
The film will make its international debut at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 7 and is expected to be released in North American theaters later this year.
In addition to the success of “The Boy and the Heron,” Studio Ghibli fans have more to be excited about. Levi Strauss has announced an apparel collection inspired by the 1997 anime classic, “Princess Mononoke.” The collection includes jackets, T-shirts, and denim overalls featuring imagery from the movie.
Furthermore, Ghibli Park, a theme park celebrating Studio Ghibli’s legacy and films, has revealed the opening dates for two new attractions. “Mononoke Forest,” which recreates the natural landscape from “Princess Mononoke,” will open on Nov. 1, 2023. “Valley of Witches,” which brings the architecture of “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “Howl’s Moving Castle” to life, will open on March 16, 2024.
Overall, Studio Ghibli is thriving with the success of “The Boy and the Heron” and exciting projects like the Princess Mononoke apparel collection and the upcoming attractions at Ghibli Park.