Studio Ghibli’s curious strategy has obviously paid off.
Visibly, Hayao Miyazaki no longer has anything to worry about. At the beginning of July, the Japanese filmmaker was worried about the lack of promotion around his next film, now called The boy and the Heron (Kimi-tachi wa Dō Ikiru ka). Indeed, the Studio Ghibli had announced a few weeks earlier that he would not release any trailers, posters or promo photos before the release of the animated film, which we knew until now under the name How do you live?.
“I wonder if it will go without publicity… If people will come… I’m starting to worry I must say. But I’m worried, that’s all. We’ll see…”explained Miyazaki during an interview given at the Ghibli exhibition in Tokyo (via World of Real)
Verdict: the spectators are indeed there. Released on July 14 in Japan, the film has already grossed $13.2 million after a three-day debut weekend in the country, according to deadline, and comes out with very good early reviews.
20 years ago, Hayao Miyazaki presented The Castle in the Sky in Premiere
It remains to be seen whether the film will meet with the same success internationally, and whether it will hold up over time. By comparison, Studio Ghibli’s biggest hit in Japan is still Spirited away, released in 2001. In total, the film has grossed over $238 million domestically. Acclaimed internationally, it received the Oscar for best animated film, and a Golden Bear in 2002.
How do you live will tell “the psychological evolution of a teenager through interactions with his friends and his uncle” after the death of his father, according to the French site of studio Ghibli. This new original story, on which 60 animators worked, will mark the filmmaker’s twelfth feature film for the studio.
Since 2020, Wild Bunch has been the official distributor of Studio Ghibli feature films in France. Nevertheless, radio silence concerning this new film, which therefore has no official distributor at the moment. With us, no release date has yet been revealed.