A report from Box Office Mojo on Sunday, Jan 30, 2022, revealed that Mamoru Hosoda‘s BELLE (Ryū to Sobakasu no Hime) anime film has earned US$3,366,867 in the U.S. box office in its first two weeks, making Belle, the director’s highest-grossing North American release by a wide margin.
The film earned US$326,182 this past weekend.
The record was previously held by Hosoda’s last film, Mirai, at just over $812,000.
The film is the highest-grossing original anime film (not related to a series) in the United States since Makoto Shinkai‘s Weathering With You in 2020, according to GKIDS director of distribution, Chance Huskey.
Belle is now the 19th film in the United States to gross over $3 million, following Studio Ghibli‘s iconic Princess Mononoke. (Pokémon: The First Movie, the highest-grossing anime film of all time, grossed nearly $85 million.)
The film earned $2 million in its opening weekend alone, and the film has since grossed over $61 million worldwide.
GKIDS released Belle in U.S. and Canadian theaters on Jan. 14, preceded by IMAX previews on Jan 12.
Originally released in Japanese theaters in July 2021 following a debut at the Cannes Film Festival, Belle became the third highest-grossing film at Japan’s box office last year. The film has earned a cumulative total of 6.53 billion yen (about US$56.9 million) as of Dec 12, 2021. MX4D screenings for the film opened on October 22.
The film was directed and scripted by Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, The Boy and The Beast, Mirai), who was also responsible for the original work. Studio Chizu celebrated its tenth anniversary with this film.
The story of Belle follows a 17-year-old high school student living in a rural village with her father. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. One day, she enters U, a virtual world of 5 billion members and where she has become Belle, a world-famous singer. She soon meets with a mysterious creature and embarks on a journey of adventures, challenges, and love, in their quest to become who they truly are.