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Japanese imports dominate weekend box office as The Boy, the Heron and Godzilla Minus One land in top 3

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For the second week in a row, major Hollywood studios chose not to release any new releases – and this was seized as a box office opportunity for alternative releases. To start the month of December, Beyoncé Renaissance: a Beyoncé film took the top spot in the Top 10, riding the wave of concert films started by Sam Wrench’s Taylor Swift: the era tour in October – and this weekend we see an impressive demonstration of two Japanese imports: the The boy and the heron and that of Takashi Yamazaki Godzilla minus one.

The former managed to set impressive records as the new best film in the US and Canada, and the latter had one of the most impressive second weekends we’ve seen in 2023. Check out the Top 10 full below and join me. afterwards for analysis.

(Image credit: GKIDS)
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1. The boy and the heron* $12,836,313 $12,836,313 N / A 2,205
2. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes $9,400,000 $135,655,926 2 3,665
3. Godzilla minus one $8,342,710 $25,333,801 3 2,540
4. Trolls band together $6,200,000 $83,081,775 4 3,451
5. Renaissance: a Beyoncé film $5,000,000 $28,051,164 1 2,539
6. Napoleon $4,200,000 $53,094,572 6 3,350
7. Waitress: The Musical* $3,237,875 $3,909,980 N / A 1,214
8. Animals $2,275,000 $11,552,377 7 622
9. Change $2,159,077 $8,501,877 8 2,450
10. Silent Night $1,720,000 $5,844,374 9 1,870

The Boy and the Heron Breaks Records as Hype Sees Godzilla Minus One Have a Phenomenal Second Weekend

Hayao Miyazaki has been acclaimed for decades – the filmmaker boasts an astonishing filmography that includes classics like Spiritual path, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and more. What has been unfortunate so far, however, is that its reputation has not translated into domestic box office success.

The boy and the heron himself rewrote this story.

The new 2023 film is not only the first Miyazaki film to take home a box office crown in the United States and Canada, but, according to The Hollywood Reporter, it is the first original animated film to do so. The feature film played in 2,205 locations this weekend and grossed $12.8 million, which is obviously great in the broader context of the release.

After just three days, the film is well-positioned to become Hayao Miyazaki’s most successful domestic release. His 2009 film Healing earned $15.1 million over its entire national run, and that of 2002 Taken away as if by magic won $10 million. Arrietty’s secret worldan adaptation of The borrowers, remains Miyazaki’s most successful film in North America, grossing $19.2 million in 2012, despite only writing the screenplay; Hiromasa Yonebayashi is credited as director.

The boy and the heron is considered Hayao Miyazaki’s final film and it was very well received. The film was released theatrically in Japan over the summer, but it received a stellar reception when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and it has since garnered new hype at numerous film festivals. ‘autumn.

Including what it has done domestically over the past three days, the film has grossed $86.3 million worldwide to date, according to Numbers.

The boy and a troll in The Boy And The Heron

(Image credit: GKIDS)

As for this weekend’s other big win for Japanese imports, Godzilla minus one I just had a phenomenal sophomore Friday through Sunday that was surely made because of the tremendous word of mouth the feature film gained. The film had a strong debut last week, earning $11.4 million in its first three days, and it has now seen a weekend-to-weekend change of just 27%, adding 8 .3 million dollars added to its national total.

This is a big problem for the Japanese Godzilla franchise, and what makes it particularly significant is the fact that the film isn’t a nine-figure budget blockbuster. By Variety, it only cost $15 million to make. Global, Godzilla minus one has earned $48.3 million so far, and it probably won’t be long before it surpasses that of Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi. Shin Godzilla from 2016 (which grossed $75.6 million over its entire worldwide theatrical run).

The last few weeks have been rich for the King Of Monsters, with Monarch: Legacy of Monsters launch on AppleTV+ and Adam Wingard’s trailer Godzilla x Kong: The New Kingdom launch, but the success of Godzilla minus one it’s like the icing on the cake.

Renaissance: a Beyoncé film suffers a hard fall after its modest premiere

Move from Godzilla minus one, Renaissance: a Beyoncé film is also coming off its second weekend, although it can be more accurately described as a sophomore slump. While the kaiju blockbuster held on to third place in the Top 10, the concert film fell from first to sixth place, adding just $5 million to its domestic total.

The numbers for Renaissance: a Beyoncé film already seemed modest compared to Taylor Swift: the era tour, while its opening ticket sales paled in comparison ($21.8 million versus $92.8 million). Today, the contrast between the two projects seems even more striking. In October, Taylor Swift’s movie dropped 67% in its second weekend, which wasn’t great…but Renaissance fell 77 percent. After two weekends, The tour of eras was $132 million at the box office, and Beyoncé’s feature has only grossed $28 million so far.

A few weeks ago, there were questions about whether concert films could potentially attract audiences to theaters… but now it seems like things won’t work out that way. However, will we continue to see more in 2024? We’ll have to wait and see.

Eileen and the Poor Things works like magic with exceptional per-screen averages

Overall, this weekend’s box office numbers aren’t that exciting… but I will point out a few minor hits that aren’t in the table above. That of William Oldroyd Eileen and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor things both played in limited release on Friday, and while they didn’t earn enough ticket sales to crack the Top 10, they both ended up landing on the 2023 Top Per Screen Averages rankings.

Eileenwhich stars Thomasin McKenzie and Anne Hathaway, is currently only showing in five theaters, but interest in the film was strong enough in those venues to
seeing the film brings in $615,000. That’s $123,000 per screen, and it’s the second-best performance of this variety we’ve seen in 2023 (Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City still holds first place in the record books, having earned $853,382 in the same number of theaters in June).

Poor things is also off to a flying start after garnering a splendid response from critics at the fall festivals. Since its theatrical release last Friday in Los Angeles and New York, Emma Stone’s film has grossed $644,000 in just nine theaters. That’s a theater average of $71,556, which is just a bit less than what Ari Aster brings in. Beau is scared did so when it first hit the big screen in April.

After two relatively quiet weekends, Paul King’s restaurant Wonka with Timothéé Chalamet hits everywhere Friday, and you’ll have to check back here on CinemaBlend next Sunday to see where it ends up landing in the Top 10. In the meantime, you can check out all the titles coming out between now and the end of the year with our 2023 movie release schedule.


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