Makoto Shinkai’s anime hit "your name." is not a conflict-driven film. Sure, there are misunderstandings and disagreements within its narrative, but the characters don’t show much in the way of emotions that could be classified as true animosity.
And yet, "your name." continues to mercilessly knock other films from their spots on the list of the all-time highest grossing movies in Japan. The latest movie to fall to the anime phenomena? None other than "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone," which until this week was the fourth-highest-earning film at the Japanese box office.
That honor now goes to "your name.", though, which distributor Toho reports has earned 20.5 billion yen (US$181.4 million) domestically. And it’s not like this latest step up in the charts is "your name.'s" last, sputtering gasp at theaters, either. Over December 10 and 11, the anime was shown on 354 screens in Japan, an increase over the previous week, and its ticket sales for last Saturday and Sunday were 16.7% higher than those of the weekend before.
Surpassing the boy wizard is quite an accomplishment for the anime, seeing as how Japan’s Harry Potter fandom is so robust that Universal Studios Japan opened its Wizarding World of Harry Potter area in the same month as the theme park franchise’s Florida location did its own.
Anime fans might be disappointed to know that Universal Studios Japan has no plans to add a Makoto Shinkai section to the park (it’s kind of busy getting Super Nintendo World ready, after all), but the success of "your name." has caused a surge in travel to rural Gifu Prefecture, where half of the movie’s story takes place. The region has had its tourism profile raised so much by the film that JTB, Japan’s largest travel provider, is planning to offer tours to Gifu specifically for fans from overseas, citing interest in "your name." from anime enthusiasts in Taiwan and Thailand.
"your name." now finds itself trailing "Frozen" in the Japanese all-time box office rankings, and by a fairly wide margin (the Disney hit grossed 25.48 billion yen in Japan). With "your name." amazingly picking up momentum, though, it may still have a shot at climbing even higher up the charts.
Source: Nikkei via Jin
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