Miyazaki’s Back On Top
Hayao Miyazaki's film PRINCESS MONONOKE was the top grossing film in Japan until TITANIC was released in 1998 and broke box office records, becoming the highest grossing film in that country. This week VARIETY reported that Hayao Miyazaki's latest feature SPIRITED AWAY has set a new audience record in Japan, surpassing the mark held by TITANIC. Since its July 20, 2001 debut, SPIRITED AWAY has been seen by 16.9 million viewers, while TITANIC saw 16.8 million admissions total after its release. According to the films distributor, the speed with which SPIRITED AWAY reached this audience figure also represents a record. Due to recently introduced discount days and cheaper presale tickets not available during TITANTIC, SPIRITED AWAY is US$4.27 million short of matching TITANICs record setting gross. However, SPIRITED AWAY shows no sign of dropping out of the top spot on Japans current box office chart, having been number one for the seven weeks since its release. As of September 26, 2001 the film has grossed 21.7 billion yen ($184.14 million at the present exchange rate). Distributor Toho Co. expects the film will soon overtake TITANIC and become the top grossing film in Japan.