Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron made a remarkable debut, earning $12.8 million over its opening weekend and securing the top spot at the domestic box office. This achievement marks the first time an original anime production has claimed the number one position. The film’s screening in Imax and premium large format auditoriums contributed to its record-breaking revenue, and the absence of major releases like Wonka and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom further bolstered its success.
Miyazaki, renowned for classics such as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, returned to the screen after over a decade with The Boy and the Heron, defying expectations. The film has been gradually releasing internationally and has garnered $84 million, with $56 million coming from Japan.
Meanwhile, Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé faced a steep decline of 77% in its second weekend, earning $5 million and landing in fifth place. In contrast, Lionsgate’s Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes claimed the second spot, accumulating $9.4 million and reaching a domestic total of $135.6 million. Toho International’s Godzilla Minus One continued its successful run, earning $8.3 million in its second weekend and becoming the highest-grossing live-action Japanese film released in North America with a total of $25.3 million.
Universal and DreamsWorks Animation’s Trolls Band Together secured the fourth position with $6.2 million, bringing its overall earnings to $83.1 million. Additionally, Bleecker Street’s new release, Waitress: The Musical, earned $3.2 million.
In limited release, Searchlight’s Poor Things achieved an impressive $644,000 from nine theaters, boasting a per-theater average of $72,000. Yorgos Lanthimos’s off-beat comedy, starring Emma Stone, has generated significant Oscar buzz since its debut at the Venice Film Festival.
Another critical favorite, Ava DuVernay’s Origin, opened in limited release with $117,063 from two theaters, yielding a per-screen average of $58,532. The film adapts Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, exploring the historical roots of hatred and racism.
Looking ahead, the release of Wonka, depicting the early days of the iconic candy maker and starring Timothée Chalamet, is anticipated to add sweetness to the box office. However, industry experts predict a more subdued holiday season compared to the past two years when blockbuster films like Avatar: The Way of Water and Spider-Man: No Way Home dominated the box office.
Suggested Read: The Boy and the Heron Release Date and Streaming Status