For the second time in box office history, a Japanese anime film has made more in China than in its home country with the total Chinese box office gross of Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume passing its Japanese gross over the last weekend.
As of April 16, Suzume has made a total of 14.48 billion yen (US$107.66 million) at the Japanese box office, staying as the eighth-highest-grossing anime film and the 14th highest-grossing film of all time at the Japanese box office.
Meanwhile in China, Suzume has grossed 752 million Yuan (14.6 billion yen, US$112.01 million) in 25 days since it was released late last month. Suzume joins Stand By Me Doraemon as the two blockbuster anime films that have grossed more in China than in Japan. It joins a very exclusive worldwide list that includes Pokémon: The First Movie making more in a different territory than Japan, in Pokémon’s case: North America.
Suzume’s worldwide total is now above US$290 million after its opening in English-speaking countries over the weekend with China as the biggest territory for the film, followed by Japan and in third place South Korea at US$36.83 million. Suzume continues to be the fourth highest-grossing anime film worldwide.
Suzume is directed by Makoto Shinkai, who also penned the screenplay for the film alongside Masayoshi Tanaka as the character designer, Kenichi Tsuchiya as the animation director and Takumi Tanji as the art director with animation production at CoMix Wave Films.
Suzume was released in Japan on November 11 with Crunchyroll teaming up with Sony Pictures and Wild Bunch International to bring the feature to global audiences outside of Asia starting April 12, 2023.
On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—
“Suzume no Tojimari” is a coming-of-age story for the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation.
Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.
—The stars, then sunset, and the morning sky.
Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky…
Never-before-seen scenery, encounters and farewells… A myriad of challenges await her on her journey. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Suzume’s adventure shines a ray of hope upon our own struggles against the toughest roads of anxiety and constraints that make up everyday life. This story of closing doors that connect our past to the present and future will leave a lasting impression upon all of our hearts.
Drawn in by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.
Daryl Harding is a Senior Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.