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Hayao Miyazagi's 'Howl's Moving Castle' Poised to Break Spirited Away's Record (1 Viewer)

Edwin Pereyra

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Hayao Miyazagi's Howl's Moving Castle is making box office records in Japan and is poised to break the one set by Spirited Away. It is already a big hit after opening in Japan November 20th. It made $14 million in two days, which is 40% higher than that of Spirited Away.

After 4 weeks, it had made over $81M. Spirited Away's total cume in Japan is $350M. The film tells the story of a teenager who is transformed into an old woman by a curse and falls for the dashing magical Howl. And according to Variety, Japanese audiences prefer the richly detailed 2-D animation to the more trendy 3-D projects.

Looking forward to this one.

~Edwin
 

Brandon B

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I'm going to see this tomorrow night (albeit without the ability to really understand japanese). I'll post my impressions.

BB
 

teapot2001

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Thi
Brandon, I think you have the right thread. Pay no attention to that Edwin guy. :)

~T
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Brandon, my "wrong thread" comment was not directed at you. I posted something earlier to this thread by mistake, which I subsequently erased prompting that comment. I have now edited that confusing comment. Sorry. Looking forward to your thoughts after seeing the film.

~Edwin
 

Robyn

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I didn't even know there was a new Miyazaki movie out! This is a very nice suprise. I can't wait until it's out here. I hope it's not just released in "limited theaters". It's such a pain to have to drive to L.A. just to see a movie. I can't wait to see the reviews you guys leave.
 

Brandon B

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OK, liked this quite a bit, although my impressions will speak more to the animation than the story, since 95% of the dialog got by me. My friend explained a bit of it to me after the film, but he is completely fluent (half japanese by birth) and said the story was still a little disjointed to him.

As you would expect, it was very beautifully animated. A lot of shots of fast moving clouds in mountain medows and peaks, I still think Porco Rosso is the best Ghibli effort of those I have seen, but this is very nice in some different ways. The usual little touches of things that make these films so good, small waves lapping the shore of an alpine lake, flower movement in a meadow, little things that really capture nature well.

The CG generated elements in this were a not integrated into the film as well as I would hope, specifically Howl's castle itself. Steamboy was a bit more adept at this I would say. They didn't stand out horribly, but it was enough to attract my notice. Another was in some street scenes with moving backgrounds, they appear to have texture mapped hand done flgastones onto a cgi generated moving background, and it came off a little flat. Given that they are going to have to integrate more CG into efforts like this for them to be financially viable enough to even get made, I don't object to them, but they need to work on this.

Animation of the characters was as good as always, with quite a few elements that harken back to styles used for characters in their other films. And there were many interesting fantastical elements (like the large flying machines of Laputa) to enjoy.

On the story itself, I am comletely unfamiliar with the book, but was able to get a pretty solid idea even without speaking the language appreciably, It was mildly interesting, but not my favorite of the films (which story-wise would also be Porco Rosso).

Anyway, definitely enjoyable and beautiful as all Miyazaki's films are, if not really his best to date. I would place it roughly along sideSpirited Away. I will certainly be buying it on DVD.

BB
 

Edwin Pereyra

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After 7 weeks, it has grossed $126M in Japan about $25M less than Spirited Away for the same number of weeks. However, Howl's Moving Castle is playing in 100+ less theaters and its per theater average continues to soar above Spirited Away.

~Edwin
 

Brandon B

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It's also up against The Incredibles right now. Mall plex AMC I saw it had it in 1 theater vs. 3 for the pixar film. Since they compete to some degree for the same audience, this may be stunting it a bit too.

BB
 

Steve Y

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This is playing in Berkeley next week and I am still deciding whether or not I should buy tickets. (They are having a film festival of ALL the major Ghibli films!) It will probably the only time I'll be able to see it subtitled before the DVD is released.

Thanks much for your comments, Brandon. I also love the animation and style of Porco Rosso but have always been underwhelmed by last half of the story, which seems not to keep the promises the first half made (I realize this has everything to do with my own expectations of what the story would be about). I will probably love Howl's Moving Castle, because I really loved Spirited Away, which also had that "haunted storybook" quality about it. CG elements were used there also, but it sounds like they upped the ante on that front a little. As long as Miyazaki doesn't start going the Dreamworks CG route. :D

s
 

Chris Cheese

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So when this is released here in the US is it going to just be the dubbed version? I'd love to see it in a theater, but if that's the case, I'll wait for the DVD.
 

TheLongshot

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Hopefully, they will do the same they did with Spirited Away, and have prints with both languages distributed.

Jason
 

RafaelB

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I'm catching a sneak of it tonight, can't wait. :)

Will post my thoughts afterwards.

Rafael.
 

Bryan Tuck

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Well, I was going to go down to Dallas sometime next week to see this, but they don't appear to be getting it. :frowning: At least not yet, anyway. I will be very surprised if they don't at some point, though.

I really wish Disney wouldn't make these releases quite so limited. It seems like they don't know how to go in-between. Everything either has to be an all-out marketing blitz on every conceivable media outlet on the planet, or they just whisper about it.

To be fair, Howl's does seem to be getting a little better promotion than Spirited Away did the first time out (before it's Oscar win), and it's certainly much better than what Mononoke got.

I guess I just contradicted myself a little there. :b Sorry. I just think that Miyazaki's films would do very well in the U.S. if more people heard about them. Everyone I've talked to who saw Spirited Away liked it, even people who normally don't like anime.

It is getting somewhat better, though. So we shall see, I guess.
 

RafaelB

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Howl's Moving Castle was, in a word, splendid. I don't think I liked it as much as Spirited Away or (my favorite) Totoro, but it's up there as one of his best.

The one thing I love about his films, in addition to the fact that they all have an unsentimental charm, are the minor characters that are usually silent. This one's got a scarecrow, dubbed Turniphead, and he's fabulous! :)

IMO the visuals are probably the best and most complex I've seen Studio Ghibli do.

The Dub- it worked fine for me, again, it's a top-notch cast (Lauren Bacall, Christian Bale, Billy Crystal) and it seemed that it was a fitting translation. I'll be seeing the subtitled version once it's released this weekend.

Rafael.
 

Bryan Tuck

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Nausicaa.net has speculated that the eventual rollout will be 700-800 theaters or greater. At any rate, it does appear to be going fairly wide on the 17th.

So I apologize for the rant in my earlier post. It does seem like they are trying a little harder this time.

However, just getting the trailer out to a few more theaters could help, too. It would have been great if they'd attached it to Hitchhiker's Guide.
 

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