The Secret World of Arrietty to Open on 1200 Screens

Disney will open The Secret World of Arrietty on 1,200 screens this month, according to an article in Monday's Wall Street Journal.  The article features an interview with John Lasseter, who shares his drive and determination to make Studio Ghibli a success in America.

Disney hopes to boost Studio Ghibli's box-office punch with the English-language release of "The Secret World of Arrietty."

Disney will open "Arrietty" on at least 1200 screens, in what will be its largest Ghibli release in the U.S. As comparison, "Ponyo" opened on about 900 screens, and "Spirited Away" opened on 750 screens.

"I just want to do everything I can to help make sure people can go see them because they're just magnificent films that are very different than any other animated films these days," [John] Lasseter said in an interview. 

This WSJ piece is hidden behind Rupert Murdoch's Paid Firewall of Doom, proving once again that the dinosaurs of Old Media have no solution to the internet but to shut everything down.  If I'm able to find more clips, I'll be happy to share them.

This is very big news, and a great surprise.  I wasn't expecting Disney to support Arrietty so strongly.  This is the widest theatrical release for an anime film in America.  Heck, before Spirited Away and Ponyo, anime has never broken out of the art-house circuit.  Let's see if this translates into robust business at the box office.  Looking at Ghibli's schedule, I believe Arrietty will have the best chance for breaking wide open.  Mary Norton's "The Borrowers" are a beloved and well-known property, the story is simply and easily presented, and the movie's animation is stunning.

If Studio Ghibli is going to have a hit in the States, it has to be now.  Lasseter-San and Disney should be thanked for their support and efforts.  Now give us the DVD and Blu-Ray films!  More, more!

Update 2/8/12, 11:15pm: I found the article in Monday's paper. It's a very short article, and you didn't really miss anything.  We already have the important part.  Thank you, public library!


Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see a commercial for Arrietty during NBC's airing of "The Voice" last night. Very cool.

I Make Comments said...

This is great news, but I'm actually not too surprised. Not only is The Borrowers a popular book in North America, but I remember seeing the trailer for this movie when I went to see The Muppets in theatres.

The Secret World of Arrietty does look great on the big screen.

nick said...

Widest release for an anime film in America? While I'm glad that Arriety is getting such support, the Pokemon and Yugi-Oh movies were released in over 2000 theaters I believe.

Brittany said...

I saw the trailer before the Muppets too. My little ones were like 'Mom! You didn't tell us there was another Studio Ghibili'. The name is almost bigger than Disney in our home. They wanted me to go right out and buy it....they're use to Ghibili on demand lol. I had to explain they'd have to wait to see it in theater, then had to cross my fingers it'd come here. I was really relieved I wouldn't have to be doing too much driving as one of the 1200 screens it'll be playing on happens to be in our hometown. I'm grateful because Ponyo wasn't shown here and we had to wait for it's release to video.

Mel said...

Wait will all theaters have it dubbed?

Anonymous said...

Don't hold your hopes to high. If it makes the top 5, that'd be good enough.

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