Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Boy and the Heron’ tops the box office

‘Poor Things’ scores top special debut of fall with $644,000

Animation maestro Hayao Miyazaki’s epic coming-of-age story “The Boy and the Heron” earned $12.8 million in its opening weekend, becoming the first original anime production to top the domestic box office. The GKids release is being screened in IMAX and other premium large format auditoriums, which boosted its record grossing and helped it reach the number one spot. It benefited from a lack of big-screen offerings, with holiday blockbusters like “Wonka” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” still awaiting debuts in the coming weeks.

“The Boy and the Heron” marks an unexpected screen return for Miyazaki, who has been absent from the screen for more than a decade — the filmmaker behind such classics as “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke” announced his retirement in 2013 following his previous film, “The Wind.” Arises” was published. “The Boy and the Heron” has been taking off slowly internationally, earning $84 million, $56 million of which came from Miyazaki’s home country of Japan.

Last weekend’s “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” slipped in its second weekend, earning $5 million for a fifth-place finish. That’s a quick 77% drop, indicating the music icon’s concert film lacked the staying power of “Taylor Swift: The Era’s Tour,” which grossed nearly $180 million. “Revival” has earned about $28 million domestically. Like Swift, Queen Bey eschewed a traditional studio to release her film and enlisted AMC Theaters to oversee its distribution. This allows them to keep a larger share of ticket sales.

As “Revival” faltered, Lionsgate’s “Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” took second place, taking in $9.4 million to lift its domestic cume to $135.6 million. That’s a solid number, especially since the “Hunger Games” prequel had a production budget of $100 million, a modest figure for a film of that size and scope.

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Toho International’s “Godzilla Minus One” climbed to $8.3 million in its second weekend. Monster has grossed $25.3 million domestically, making it the highest-grossing live-action Japanese film released in North America.

Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls Band Together” will take fourth place, earning $6.2 million. This has taken the family film’s total to $83.1 million. One of the weekend’s other new offerings, Bleecker Street’s “Waitress: The Musical,” earned $3.2 million.

In limited release, Searchlight’s “Poor Things” earned $644,000 from nine theaters. It averaged $72,000 per theater during the fall awards season — just behind the theatrical bows of spring releases “Beau Is Afraid” ($80,000) and “Asteroid City” ($142,000). And summer. “The Favorite” stars Emma Stone in the off-beat comedy from director Yorgos Lanthimos and has been generating plenty of Oscar buzz since its debut at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the prestigious Golden Lion.

“Origin,” another critical favorite, opened in limited release with $117,063 from two theaters. That’s an average of $58,532 per screen. The neon issue was written and directed by Ava DuVernay and Isabelle Wilkerson’s “Race: The Origins of Our Discontents,” a historical study of hatred and racism.

Next weekend sees the release of “Wonka,” a look at the early days of the chocolate maker starring Timothée Chalamet. That should sweeten the box office, but theater owners and analysts believe this holiday season will outpace the past two years, when the mega-grossing “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” debuted. .

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