hile the rest of the world has been raving about Hayao Miyazaki’s animated classic “Spirited Away” for nearly two decades now, China only just got to see it in theaters last Friday.
Kaonashi vs. Buzz Lightyear
The long overdue release was an enormous success with the Studio Ghibli flick opening on the same day as “Toy Story 4” and more than doubling the latest Pixar film’s proceeds.
It’s already taken in more than 282 million yuan ($40 million) at the Chinese box office.
A set of specially-designed posters were created to promote the premiere.
Banned no longer
For years, Miyazaki’s films were not screened at Chinese theaters. However, that changed in 2018 when “My Neighbor Totoro” hit cinemas in China, 30 years after its original release, in a move that was seen to signal warmer relations between Japan and China.
Of course, Chinese audiences are far from ignorant of Miyazaki’s work. DVD bootlegs of his films were extremely popular back in the day before giving away to illegal streaming sites.