All About Japan

'Your Name' Obliterating Box Office Records

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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 (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 percent higher than those of the weekend before.

Anime fans might be disappointed to know that Universal Studios Japan has no plans to add a Makoto Shinkai section to the park, but Your Name's success 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 in Japan). With Your Name amazingly picking up momentum, though, it may still have a shot at climbing even higher up the charts.

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Anime Your Name passes Princess Mononoke on all-time Japanese box office list, is now at number 3
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