Continuing coverage of all things Miyazaki at THE BEAT, let’s look at the opening weekend in the United States for PONYO.
The picture finished ninth this weekend at the box office, with $3.5 million weekend gross on 927 screens, for a per-screen average of $3,782. It was fourth among new films opening last weekend, finishing behind DISTRICT 9 ($37 m on 3049 screens), THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE ($19.2 m on 2988 screens) and THE GOODS ($6.9 m on 1838 screens).
This makes it already the third-highest grossing Miyazaki movie in the US. According to Box Office Mojo, it’s only $1.2 m behind HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, with SPIRITED AWAY at #1 with $10 m.
It probably goes without saying this is the most screens ever for a Miyazaki movie. SPIRITED AWAY was on 714 screens, a far cry from the paltry 129 for PRINCESS MONONOKE. I remember having to drive over an hour up to Philadelphia to see MONONOKE and that was the closest it came and I think only lasted 2 weeks in the theater.
As for critical acclaim, it’s currently at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, wth 79 positive reviews and 5 negative. (What’s wrong with those people?)
I saw it Friday afternoon and was thoroughly entertained, although perhaps not as much as some of the more “adult” previous works in the Miyazaki canon. Certainly a hearty review for anyone with kids the age of the characters in the movie.
Posted by mark coale