Anime legend Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved 1986 film Castle in THE sky returns to the big screen — in China. The film, which never hit theaters in the country during its original run and subsequent re-releases around the world, has been cleared by Beijing censors and is set to hit theaters nationwide on May 1. June.
Miyazaki’s work is well known and widely appreciated in China, thanks to the ease of access to pirated DVDs and downloads in the country – previously the only way to view his work there. But in recent years, Studio Ghibli has started to make up for lost time by bringing select titles from Miyazaki’s catalog to Chinese multiplexes for the first time.
The master’s My Neighbor Totoro earned $26 million from a re-release in China in 2018, followed by Taken away as if by magic with $69 million in 2019.
A cult favorite of Miyazaki’s work, Castle in THE sky follows a young boy and girl with a magic crystal as they race against pirates and alien agents in search of a legendary floating castle.
Japanese anime has become big business in China, as it has done virtually everywhere else in the world in recent years. Makoto Shinkai, the anime talent most often dubbed Miyazaki’s heir, scored big in the country with his 2017 film, your name, which grossed $83 million. Shinkai’s latest anime hit, susumewhich grossed over $100 million in Japan and had its international premiere in Berlin International Film Festival last month, will open in China on March 24.