After announcing the Weathering with You Café, fans of Makoto Shinkai received another good news as the film recently hit another record with over 13,291,927,400 yen (US$120 million) worldwide.
Weathering with You ranked 1st in its opening weekend, selling about US$12.22 million during the first three days. The film is currently one of the highest-earning domestic film of all time in Japan and the highest-grossing film in Japan this year. Your Name was the last film to earn over 10 billion yen, a film that was also made and directed by Shinkai.
The North American premiere of Weathering with You was spearheaded by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Japan submitted the film for consideration in the Best International Feature Film category at the 92nd Academy Awards.
GKIDS, an American film distributor in New York, has given the license to screen Weathering with You in North America, and will give the film theatrical awards qualifying run this year before a wider showing in early 2020. GKIDS has given the film a description:
The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strongwilled girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky…
In one of the interviews with Shinkai, he was asked about Weathering with You making it to an international stage and he gave a meaningful response to it (see excerpt below):
You said previously that it was quite rare to see anime on an international stage such as the one at the Toronto Film Festival. With Weathering with You’s presentation here, and as Japan’s pick for the international film Oscar, do you feel that anime is becoming held in an equal regard to live-action film?
So when I was [picked], the news really surprised me. I thought, “why did they choose it?” But when you think about it, box-office wise, more people watch animated films in Japan than live-action films. I feel that anime is often very representative of Japanese culture, but regarding the Academy Awards, I don’t know if I have confidence that it could be on the same platform as live action yet. I think I’ll know more when it’s released in North America and see how it’s received.
Really when I was making this film, I was making it for young people in Japan. I mainly did this with the music; there’s a lot of meaning in the lyrics, which are in Japanese, and the pacing of the movie is so fast really to just keep up with the young people and how fast they live. But even in Japan, I suppose there are people watching who are kids or the elderly and I guess they fall into the same category a global audience. I am a little worried over whether I did enough to entertain people outside of this target audience. Sorry if I sound negative, but I do worry about that.
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